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Coyotes look to continue win streak against Detroit Red Wings

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The Arizona Coyotes have a chance for two more points as they play the Detroit Red Wings, one of the worst teams in the league.

Detroit Red WIngs v Arizona Coyotes Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Game Preview

Thursday against the Vancouver Canucks was a must win game for the Arizona Coyotes. Vancouver was right behind the Coyotes in the standings and a win would further separate the teams. Thanks to a four goal game by Brad Richardson and a power play goal from Alex Galchenyuk the Coyotes were able to trounce the Canucks 5-2. With that win the Coyotes are only a point behind the Minnesota Wild for the final Wild Card spot.

Unfortunately the win came with a pretty huge loss. Derek Stepan was injured in what appeared to be a freak accident, and is set to miss four to six weeks with a lower body injury. Stepan is fourth on the team in points and third in goals so his lose is definitely going to hurt the Coyotes’ struggling offense. More importantly he is one of the Coyotes’ best faceoff men, and was a staple on the power play and penalty kill.

The Coyotes could have really used Stepan in the final stretch, and for a team that has struggled with injuries all season this is another huge blow. But Arizona has been able to deal with those injuries because other players have stepped up. The Coyotes are going to need a few more players to step up. Luckily the Coyotes just got Christian Dvorak, who the Coyotes are going to be relying on more as the season finished.

The Detroit Red Wings are one of the worst teams this season. With 55 points only the lowly Ottawa Senators and the Los Angeles Kings are lower then them in the standings. They just finished a five game homestand where they went 4-0-1 and finished by getting destroyed by the Montreal Canadiens 8-1.

Detroit’s numbers show why they are one of the bottom teams in the leagues. With 176 goals scored they are tied with the Oilers for 25th in the league. Their defense is actually worse, and they have allowed 215 goals, fifth worst in the NHL. Their power play is ranked 25th in the league, converting 16.1% of the time, as is their penalty kill at 77.5%.

Players to Watch

Arizona: Brad Richardson - Richardson likely won’t have another four goal game tonight, but with Stepan out the team is going to be relying on players like Richardson more and more.

Detroit: Anthony Mantha - Mantha had the Red Wings lone goal against the Montreal Canadiens and has 7 points in his last four games including four assists against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Injuries

Arizona: Derek Stepan (lower body), Kyle Capobianco (lower body), Nick Schmaltz (lower body), Michael Grabner (eye), Antti Raanta (lower body), Jason Demers (knee)

Detroit: Dylan Larkin (probable, undisclosed), Mike Green (probable, illness), Anthony Mantha (questionable, illness), Trevor Daley (upper body), Thomas Vanek (hip)

Poll

Poll

Can the Coyotes overcome the Stepan injury and still make the playoffs?

This poll is closed

  • 87%
    Yes
    (27 votes)
  • 12%
    No
    (4 votes)
31 votes total Vote Now