After dropping their first game of the preseason, the Arizona Coyotes are set to play their first preseason game at Gila River Arena. While preseason games are largely meaningless the Coyotes must build some level of momentum and show some early signs of chemistry in the line.
Sunday’s loss against the Coyotes saw a few play notch points. Vinnie Hinostroza and Ilya Lyubushkin both scored goals, while Christian Dvorak, Barrett Hayton, Jan Jenik, and Aaron Ness all recorded assists. The Coyotes also were perfect on the penalty kill, which is a solid carryover from last season, but they would allow two short-handed goals from both Reilly Smith and Brayden McNabb.
The Coyotes will start their preseason at home against a division rival, the Los Angeles King. Last season the Kings were the worst team in the Pacific Division with only 71 points and the second-worst team in the NHL beating only the Ottawa Senators.
Despite finishing at the bottom, the Los Angeles Kings didn’t do much to revitalize their team. Their biggest acquisition may have been former Coyote Mario Kempe who signed a one-year, two-way deal. They did manage to draft Alex Turcotte, who could prove to be a key part of their future but will likely not be seeing NHL ice this season.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Jan Jenik - Jenik has been making a name for himself this preseason with some good looks. It remains to be seen if that success can translate to a regular season role but he looks to be doing the right things.
Arizona: None reported
Los Angeles: None reported
Tonight’s game will be the first of the preseason at Gila River Arena. The start time is 7:00 pm Arizona time and it can be heard on ESPN 620 AM.