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Coyotes and Canucks battle for playoff spot

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The Arizona Coyotes and Vancouver Canucks are both in the middle of fight for a Wild Card spot.

Vancouver Canucks v Arizona Coyotes Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Game Preview

As the season comes to a close the Arizona Coyotes can’t afford another losing streak. The night after a rough 5-2 loss to the Calgary Flames the Coyotes needed a better effort. The Coyotes got that better effort against the Oilers, and it took some extra time the Coyotes managed to earn the win in the shootout. The Coyotes needed two points to stay in the playoff race, and they got it two nights ago.

The game against the Oilers wasn’t a perfect game. The Coyotes may have controlled the early parts and middle of the game, but they weren’t able to keep up the pressure. They came so close to scoring a third goal, and if they had found the back of the net one more time the game would have likely ended in regulation instead of having to go to the shootout. Speaking of extra hockey, the Coyotes overtime definitely left a lot to be desired. Edmonton controlled most of the overtime, which isn’t too surprising in the second game of a back to back.

Like pretty much every other team in the Western Conference the Vancouver Canucks are still hanging in the playoff race. The Vancouver Canucks are tied with the Arizona Coyotes with 59 points. At 59 points they are two points behind the Colorado Avalanche for the final Wild Card spot. The Canucks weren’t expected to do much this season, but like the Coyotes they are benefiting from the weak Western Conference.

The Vancouver Canucks don’t score a lot (167 goals, 23rd) and they allow a fair amount of goals (185, 20th). Their power play is bottom of the league (15.8%, 26th) and the penalty kill is middling (80.3%, 17th). The Coyotes definitely have an advantage on special teams, and if they can generate with the man advantage it could be the difference maker.

Players to Watch

Arizona: Vinnie Hinostroza - Hinostroza scored one of the Coyotes two goals and had the game winning shoot out goal. This season Hinostroza has been streaky and hopefully he is getting hot at the right time.

Vancouver: Brock Boeser - With 21 goals so far on the season, Boeser is currently in the middle of his second consecutive 20+ goal season. He has goals in his last two games, and three goals in his last five.

Injuries

Arizona: Richard Panik (probable, illness), Kyle Capobianco (lower body), Nick Schmaltz (lower body), Michael Grabner (eye), Antti Raanta (lower body), Jason Demers (knee), Christian Dvorak (pectoral)

Vancouver: Christopher Tanev (ankle), Jake Virtanen (ribs), Brandon Sutter (groin), Thatcher Demko (knee), Sven Baertschi (concussion), Alexander Edler (concusion)

Poll

Poll

Will the Coyotes score a power play goal tonight?

This poll is closed

  • 79%
    Yes
    (23 votes)
  • 20%
    No
    (6 votes)
29 votes total Vote Now