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Coyotes host Oilers for last time this season

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The Coyotes are currently in the middle of a two game win streak and look to get another win at home against the Edmonton Oilers before embarking on a four game road trip.

Edmonton Oilers v Arizona Coyotes Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Game Preview

This past Thursday the Arizona Coyotes needed a big game. They had just overtaken the Minnesota Wild and a win would help secure their playoff spot. They also had a chance to make up for a weak outing against the Anaheim Ducks last week, a game that ended with them losing 3-1. This time they would flip the script, routing the Ducks 6-1 in a game that featured Vinnie Hinostroza’s first NHL hat trick.

Thursday’s game featured a bit of everything. Two of Hinostroza’s goals came on the power play, Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored short-handed, Jason Demers scored his second goal of the season, and the team got solid goaltending from Darcy Kuemper. Even Mario Kempe was able to get in on the action, scoring a statement goal with less than a second left in the game. Already up 5-1 you could forgive the Coyotes for letting up in the final minute of the game, but its great that the team kept pushing and kept the pressure on for the full sixty minutes.

With that win Arizona is two points away from the Dallas Stars for the first Wild Card spot and six points behind the Vegas Golden Knights for third in the Pacific. The Coyotes can’t let up in the final eleven games though, Minnesota is breathing down their necks and is only three points back. Game after game it seems more and more likely that Arizona’s playoff drought will be coming to an end though and the team will get a chance to taste playoff hockey again.

As we approach April the Edmonton Oilers seem poised to miss the playoffs again this season. They just finished a four game homestand where they went 1-2-1, with the final game a 6-3 loss to the New Jersey Devils. They are currently eight points behind the Coyotes in the standings so its possible they can still slip in, but a loss to one of the bottom teams in the Eastern Conference shows how unlikely that is.

Edmonton starts tonight on a road trip which will see them play three games in four days. Tomorrow they will play the Golden Knights and Tuesday they will face off against the St. Louis Blues. Its always interesting to see how a team goes into the first night of a back to back. Do they attempt to conserve energy for tomorrow night against the possibly harder opponent or do they go all out tonight in the hopes of getting two points while still fresh? Either way Arizona needs to be ready and hopefully they will be able to get another two points against a division rival.

Games to Watch

The Wild are hosting the New York Rangers tonight and are currently riding a three game losing streak.

Players to Watch

Arizona: Vinnie Hinostroza - With his hat trick against the Ducks Hinostroza has a two game goal streak. He is tied with Alex Galchenyuk for second in goals scored with fifteen and is one of six Coyotes players with over 30 points this season.

Edmonton: Alex Chiasson - In his first season with the Oilers Chiasson has eclipsed twenty goals for the first time in his career. He has two goals and an assist in his last five games including a goal in the Oilers’ last game against the Devils.

Injuries

Arizona: Derek Stepan (lower body), Kyle Capobianco (lower body), Nick Schmaltz (lower body), Antti Raanta (lower body)

Edmonton: Jesse Puljujarvi (hip)

Poll

Poll

Alex Galchenyuk hasn’t scored since February 28. Does he get a goal tonight?

This poll is closed

  • 86%
    Yes
    (19 votes)
  • 13%
    No
    (3 votes)
22 votes total Vote Now