We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Despite at one point being up 3-0, the Arizona Coyotes allowed the Washington Capitals to come back and force overtime. Going 3 on 3 against the Capitals isn’t a recipe for success, but the Coyotes kept going and forced a shutout. The Washington Capitals have some of the best offensive players in the league, but goaltender Antti Raanta held strong and the Yotes won in the shootout scoring twice.
Say what you want about the Coyotes this season, but they have been getting a balanced offense. Clayton Keller, Christian Fischer, and Michael Grabner all scored against the Capitals, with Vinnie Hinostroza, Alex Goligoski, and Brad Richardson registering assists. Both Nick Schmaltz and Conor Garland would score on the shootout.
If you want to look critically at the Coyotes game, there are things you can find. The Coyotes again let their opponent come from behind, this time coming back allowing them to score three unanswered goals. Despite having two power plays the Coyotes were again unable to convert with the man advantage, their fifth straight game without a power play goal.
Last season, the St. Louis Blues were near the bottom of the league, only to turn things around and win the Stanley Cup. And while most cup winners experience a bit of a hangover the next season, the Blues are at the top of the Central Division with a 12-3-3 record.
The Blues are currently riding a 7 game win streak, and they are 9-0-1 in their past 10 games. Five of those wins did come in overtime though, showing that the Blues have some cracks. Even if the Blues weren’t a very good overtime team, Arizona playing in the second game of a back-to-back wouldn’t bold well for them in overtime.
Surprisingly, the Blues have been as good as they have recently considering they are missing Vladimir Tarasenko. Tarasenko hasn’t played since October 24th, but in the past, he has been one of the Blues’ biggest offensive players. He has historically been the Blues’ leading goal scorer, although in his absence Brayden Schenn has stepped up and has 10 goals in 18 games.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Michael Grabner - Grabner scored a goal against the Capitals, and has four points in his past four games. After a relatively slow start for the season, Grabner has been good as of late, and he is generating the offense that the team hoped for when they signed him.
St. Louis: Ryan O’Reilly - O’Reilly set career highs in goals and assists in his first season with the Blues, a season which saw him win the Conn Smythe, the Selke, and of course the Stanley Cup. So far this season he In his past seven games he has 11 points.
Arizona: Niklas Hjalmarsson (leg)
St. Louis: Alexander Steen (ankle), Vladimir Rarsenko (upper body)
Tonight’s game will be in St. Louis and will air on Fox Sports Arizona Plus and Fox Sports 910 AM.