Don’t look now but the Arizona Coyotes have won two in a row. The Coyotes have been inconsistent this season, but with two consecutive wins they have gained some of the ground they lost since the All Star Break. As of tonight they are one of three teams that are only four points back from the Minnesota Wild for the final Wild Card spot and they have a game in hand.
Tuesday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights wasn’t exactly the game plan you want to follow consistently. Sure the 5-2 score suggest it was a game the Coyotes controlled, but it was largely the opposite. Vegas outshot the Coyotes in the first two periods 34-16 despite Arizona taking a lead with a power play goal from Jordan Oesterle and a goal from Alex Galchenyuk in the second period. With Vegas outshooting and controlling the pace it shouldn’t be too surprising that soon after Galchenyuk’s goal Brandon Pirri would cut the deficit in half and Nate Schmidt would tie it up with 30 seconds left in the second.
Despite the extremely rocky start the third period was pretty much all Coyotes. Nick Cousins’ six goal of the season would give Arizona the eventual game winner nine minutes into the third. And while Vegas had a few good attempts at tying it up, Josh Archibald would score his sixth to double Arizona’s lead. Vegas would pull Marc-Andre Fleury, and Richard Panik would get the empty netter with less then a minute left, giving Arizona a resounding 5-2 win.
The St. Louis Blues went from being a laughing stock to currently holding a Wild Card spot. A seven game win streak will have a big impact on a team’s spot in the standings, especially in the extremely weak Western Conference. The streak hasn’t solely come against bottom tier teams either, St Louis has two wins against the Nashville Predators and a win against the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Columbus Blue Jackets. Two of those teams aren’t just playoff bound but expected to go far.
Like the Coyotes its tough to say how reflective the season stats actually are with St. Louis current run of success.. St Louis is 19th in the league having scored 163 goals and eighth in goals allowed with 161. Their power play is middle of the road (18.2%, 18th) and a surprisingly weak penalty kill (78.8%, 22nd). Arizona may not get many chances 5-on-5 but if the power play can click it may be the difference maker that the Coyotes need.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Nick Cousins - Nine players registered a point against the Golden Knights. Cousins had the eventual game winner and an assist.
St. Louis: Ryan O’Reilly - Seven players Blues players had at least two points in St Louis’ last game against the New Jersey Devils with O’Reilly registering a goal and an assist. He currently leads the Blues with 57 points, 13 points more then the second place Vladimir Tarasenko.
Arizona: Mario Kempe (questionable, upper body), Kyle Capobianco (upper body), Brad Richardson (questionable, upper body), Nick Schmaltz (lower body), Michael Grabner (eye), Antti Raanta (lower body), Jason Demers (knee), Christian Dvorak (pectoral)
St. Louis: Pat Maroon (questionable, lower body), Carl Gunnarsson (questionable, upper body), Erik Foley (concussion), David Perron (upper body)
Can the Coyotes put an end to the Blues win streak?
This poll is closed