After the All Star Break the Arizona Coyotes were in a good, but not ideal, position. They were still in the playoff hunt and a few wins could put them ahead in the weak Western Conference. While they are still only four points out of a playoff spot, they have still not won a game since the All Star break and are in real danger of falling further in the standings.
Arizona’s Thursday night game against the Blue Jackets didn’t have the best start. Lukas Sedlak managed to score just over three minutes in, and David Savard gave them a two goal lead going into the second. The Coyotes did manage to tie it up with goals from Jordan Oesterle and Conor Garland early in the second. Unfortunately Josh Anderson would give Columbus the lead again with a power play goal midway through the second, and Boone Jenner would double that lead in the third.
After dealing with injuries all season it seems like things are still stacking up. The Coyotes penalty kill has been the biggest bright spot all season, and against the Blue Jackets it allowed Columbus to get the game winning goal on one of two attempts. Its hard not too look at the Coyotes injuries and see many players who should be playing on the penalty kill. They also lost 64% of their faceoffs, something Christian Dvorak or Brad Richardson could have helped them with.
Since their 5-4 win against the Coyotes Dallas has played one game, losing 3-2 in overtime to the Nashville Predators. The Stars had been riding a five-game inning streak, but things changed only 43 seconds into overtime. Dallas has 61 points on the season, and considering the way the Western Conference has been playing, it would take a major collapse for the Stars to miss the playoffs.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Jordan Oesterle - Oesterle had a goal and an assist in the Coyotes last game against the Blue Jackets. Oesterle hasn’t been the biggest story of the season, but he has been a solid addition on a Coyotes defense that is dealing with some major injuries.
Dallas: Miro Heiskanen - Rookie Miro Heiskanen had two assists in the last game the Stars played against the Coyotes and a goal against the Nashville Predators.
Arizona: Kyle Capobianco (lower body), Jakob Chychrun (questionable, lower body), Brad Richardson (upper body), Nick Schmaltz (lower body), Michael Grabner (eye), Antti Raanta (lower body), Jason Demers (knee), Christian Dvorak (pectoral)
Dallas: Ben Bishop (upper body), Tyler Pitlick (wrist), Martin Hanzal (back), Marc Methot (knee), Stephen Johns (head)
Which unit will score first tonight?
This poll is closed
The power play
The penalty kill