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GDT Game 34: Coyotes look to rebound against Blackhawks

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After a tough loss to the Calgary Flames, the Arizona Coyotes are back in action and hosting the Chicago Blackhawks.

Arizona Coyotes v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images

Game Preview

The Arizona Coyotes may want to just burn the tape of their last game. On Tuesday the Coyotes allowed a season-high five goals in their 5-2 loss to the Calgary Flames.

Things started badly for the Coyotes on Tuesday. Calgary scored twice in the first five minutes of the game, and by the time the Coyotes got their first goal, the Flames had already scored four times.

The Coyotes wouldn’t give up though. In their lone power play of the game, Phil Kessel would score his seventh goal of the season with less than a minute left in the game.

It’s hard to argue that the Coyotes didn’t try to win the game. They outshot the Flames 48-29, won 54% of the faceoffs, and limited the Flames to just five shots on goal in the third period.

Tuesday was the Coyotes’ first game without defenseman Jason Demers, who is week-to-week with a knee injury. With the Coyotes missing Demers and Niklas Hjalmarsson they are down two tough, defensive defensemen.

Since playing the Coyotes, the Chicago Blackhawks have played just one game. This past Tuesday they faced off against the Vegas Golden Knights and lost 5-1. Strangely enough, like the Coyotes the Blackhawks also got a power play goal in the final minute of the game.

The Blackhawks gave up both a power play goal and a short-handed goal to Golden Knights. Chicago’s special teams haven’t been great this season, they are 22nd on the power play (16.1%) and 19th on the penalty kill (79.0%).

On Tuesday Corey Crawford got the start, which may mean the Coyotes will be facing Robin Lehner tonight. The two have split the starts pretty evenly, 15 for Lehner, 16 for Crawford, although Lehner has much better numbers with a 2.71 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage.

Players to Watch

Arizona: Phil Kessel - Kessel has been hot as of late with 2 goals and 3 assists in his past five games. The Coyotes brought in Kessel to score goals, and it is good that he is doing more of that as of late.

Chicago: Dominik Kubalik - Kubalik has goals in his past two games, including Chicago’s third goal against the Coyotes.

Injuries

Arizona: Jason Demers (knee), Niklas Hjalmarsson (leg)

Chicago: Calvin de Haan (questionable, shoulder), Olli Maatta (questionable, flu), Andrew Shaw (concussion), Duncan Keith (groin), Drake Caggiula (concussion)

Puck Drop

Tonight’s game will be at 7:00 pm Arizona time and will air on Fox Sports Arizona and Fox Sports 910 AM.