The Arizona Coyotes started their three-game road trip strong. In back-to-back games, they beat the previous two Stanley Cup champions in the shootout. And while the shootout isn’t the ideal way to win, but forcing the Washington Capitals and St. Louis Blues into overtime is a good sign. But all good things must come to an end.
For the second time in a week, the Coyotes lost by one goal to the Minnesota Wild. For whatever reason, the Coyotes don’t match up well against the Wild, although the Wild are at the bottom of the Central Division.
The Coyotes didn’t hold the lead once against the Wild on Thursday. Kevin Fiala would score the lone goal in the first period and the Coyotes wouldn’t tie it up until Conor Garland got his ninth goal in the second. Unfortunately, the Coyotes would ultimately lose the third period, with the Wild scoring twice and the Coyotes only getting a goal from Lawson Crouse.
Arizona would again go another game without scoring a power play goal. The Coyotes had three opportunities throughout the game, including two in the third period, but they were unable to convert. The Coyotes’ power play is better than last season, it would be hard to be worse, but at 23rd in the league, they need to be much better.
Since the Coyotes and Calgary Flames last met, the Flames have been a bit of a mixed bag. They were 1-1-1 with their lone win coming against the lowly New Jersey Devils. They also took the Stanley Cup champion Blues to overtime, but they would lose that game, unlike the Coyotes. Their loss would come from the Dallas Stars this past Wednesday where they fell 3-1.
The Flames come into the desert without one of their best defensemen in T.J. Brodie. Brodie collapsed during practice last Thursday with an apparent seizure and was taken to the hospital. He has thankfully been released, and he will hopefully recover soon.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Conor Garland - Garland has goals in his last two games and leads the team with 9 goals this season. Twenty games in he is already four goals away from surpassing his goals and points last season.
Calgary: Matthew Tkachuk - Tkachuk had an assist on the Flames’ lone goal against the Stars and leads the Flames with 20 points. He has been extremely consistent and has points in all but seven of the twenty games he has played.
Arizona: Niklas Hjalmarsson (leg)
Calgary: T.J. Brodie (seizure), Austin Czarnik (lower body), Juuso Valimaki (knee)
Tonight’s matinee game will be at 2:00 pm Arizona time and will air on Fox Sports Arizona and Fox Sports 910 AM.