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GDT Game 28: Coyotes back on the road

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The Arizona Coyotes are back on the road as they play the first game of a back-to-back.

NHL: Arizona Coyotes at Detroit Red Wings Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Game Preview

The Arizona Coyotes last matchup was rough. The Coyotes have struggled all season against the Minnesota Wild, and Thursday was no exception. Arizona’s offensive came to play, but unfortunately, the team would lose 8-5.

Phil Kessel, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Clayton Keller, and Jakob Chychrun all scored, with Jakob Chychrun scoring twice on the power play. The Coyotes have benefited from a balanced offseason all season, and it will hopefully continue.

Unfortunately, the 8-5 loss wasn’t the worst aspect of the game. Late in the third period, Darcy Kuemper sustained a lower-body injury, and he is currently listed as week to week. Kuemper has been key to the Coyotes success, luckily the Coyotes have another excellent goaltender to turn to in Antti Raanta.

Even with the loss, the Arizona Coyotes are still on top of the Pacific Division. They are tied with the Vegas Golden Knights and Edmonton Oilers, having played one fewer game than the Golden Knights and two fewer than the Oilers. The Coyotes have one more win than the Golden Knights and the same number of wins as the Oilers.

People expected the Detroit Red Wings to be bad this seasons. They finished at the bottom of the standings last season, and they are still early in their rebuild. But with only nine regulation wins and 21 points, they are comfortably at the bottom of the standings.

The Detroit Red Wings have had a terrible December. They have only two wins, a 5-2 win against the Winnipeg Jets and a 2-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens. They have lost their other six games of the month by a collective 27-11.

Players to Watch

Arizona: Jakob Chychrun - With two goals on Thursday, Jakob Chychrun has a career-high nine goals on the season. It was Chychrun’s first multi-goal game of his career.

Detroit: Tyler Bertuzzi - Bertuzzi apparently didn’t get the memo that the Red Wings are supposed to be bad this season. He is currently riding a four-game point streak and had the Red Wings’ lone goal against last night against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Injuries

Arizona: Conor Garland (questionable, upper body), Darcy Kuemper (lower body), Jason Demers (knee), Niklas Hjalmarsson (leg)

Detroit: Frans Nielsen (questionable, illness), Jonathan Bernier (groin), Anthony Mantha (upper body), Jonathan Ericsson (nose), Jimmy Howard (probable, groin), Danny DeKeyser (back), Johan Franzen (concussion), Henrik Zetterberg (back)

Puck Drop

Tonight’s game will be at 5:00 pm Arizona time and will air on ESPN+, Fox Sports Arizona, and Fox Sports 910 AM.