Saturday was a big game for the Arizona Coyotes. The Coyotes beat the Philadelphia Flyers 6-2 for their third straight win, keeping them on pace with the Vegas Golden Knights above them and all the teams in the Pacific Division behind them.
While the Coyotes didn’t have another game where everyone scored, they did get a lot of offense. Clayton Keller, Nick Schmaltz, and Derek Stepan all had a multi-point game with Keller getting two goals. Four of the defenseman also got points on the night, with Jordan Oesterle getting his first goal of the season.
Arizona’s special teams were also good against Philadelphia. Keller’s first goal came on the power play, and the Flyers were unable to score once on their four power play opportunities. The Coyotes even managed to get a short-handed goal with Derek Stepan getting his seventh of the season into the empty net.
Unfortunately, all was not well in Arizona’s routing of the Flyers. Goaltender Antti Raanta missed the third period with a lower-body injury. The Athletic’s Craig Morgan reports that the Coyotes don’t believe it’s serious, and he will be joining the team on the road.
Goalies Antti Raanta, Darcy Kuemper, Adin Hill & Ivan Prosvetov will all begin this three-game road trip with the Coyotes vs. Florida, Tampa & Carolina. Corey Schwab will have a full classroom.— Craig Morgan (@CraigSMorgan) January 5, 2020
Also, defenseman Nik Hjalmarsson is on the trip.
The Florida Panthers made a big splash this offseason. They want big and acquired one of the biggest free agents available, goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. That acquisition hasn’t turned out as expected and in 33 games he has a 3.33 goals-against average and a .895 save percentage, both are career lows. Bobrovsky is signed for another six seasons, with an average cap hit of $10 million.
But while the Panther’s star goaltender hasn’t been good enough, the Panthers are still competitive. They are currently fourth in the Atlantic and are just three points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Florida has had a pretty good start to 2020. They are currently 2-1-0 with their sole loss being a 3-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres. The two wins came via a 6-3 win against the Ottawa Senators and a 4-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins this past Sunday.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Clayton Keller - Keller had another multi-goal game against the Flyers, his third multi-goal game of the season. Keller is currently tied for second on the team in goals scored with 12.
Florida: Evgenii Dadonov - The Panthers have a few offensive threats, and Dadonov may be one of the most dangerous. He scored 28 goals in his prior two seasons, although he seems poised to top that with 18 goals in 42 games.
Arizona: Derek Stepan (questionable, hand), Antti Raanta (questionable, lower body), Darcy Kuemper (questionable, lower body), Niklas Hjalmarsson (leg)
Florida: MacKenzie Weegar (upper body)
Tonight’s game will be in Florida at 5:00 pm Arizona time and will air on Fox Sports Arizona and Fox Sports 910 AM.