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GDT Game 61: Coyotes return home and look to shake off disappointing loss

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The Coyotes are back in Arizona and looking to get points against the tough Washington Capitals.

Arizona Coyotes v Washington Capitals Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images

Game Preview

The Arizona Coyotes’ last game was a rough one. They were playing one of the worst teams in the NHL, the Ottawa Senators, and they lost in regulation. It was a tough defeat for the Coyotes and could prove to be a difference-maker if the Coyotes miss the playoffs this season.

Things didn’t start well for the Coyotes. Ottawa drew first blood with Vladislav Namestnikov getting his 12th goal of the season less than three minutes into the first period. Less then four minutes later Ottawa would double that lead with a goal from Brady Tkachuk.

Arizona would get its goals from its defense, something that the team will need more of as the season ends. Oliver Ekman-Larsson at one point cut the Senator’s lead in half with his 7th of the season in the second, and Jordan Oesterle would score halfway through the third season. Unfortunately, the Coyotes weren’t able to get the game-tying goal, and Ottawa won 3-2.

Despite the loss, the Coyotes still have a playoff spot. They have one more point than the Winnipeg Jets, although they have played one more game. The team is going to need all the points they can get, especially as their next five games will be against playoff-bound teams.

The Washington Capitals are good this season. They are the top of the Metropolitan Division and have the third-most points in the Eastern Conference. They are a season removed from winning the Stanley Cup and look poised for another deep run.

Despite their spot in the standings, the Capitals haven’t had the best month. They have won just two games in February, a 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings and a 3-2 win against the Colorado Avalanche. Losses to the Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, and New York Islanders are nothing to be ashamed of though, as they are all good teams.

The big story for the Capitals this season is, of course, Alex Ovechkin. He already has 40 goals on the season and will be one of the few players to reach 700 career goals. At this point, it seems likely that he will surpass Wayne Gretzky’s 894 career goals scored.

Players to Watch

Arizona: Taylor Hall - Hall had a primary assist on OEL’s goal against the Senators, his 13th point as a Coyote. The team is going to need their best players to play their best as the season wraps up and the team is going to rely on Hall to generate offense.

Washington: T.J. Oshie - Oshie is riding a three-game goal streak and a four-game point streak with five points in his last four games.

Injuries

Arizona: Jason Demers (oblique), Darcy Kuemper (lower body)

Washington: Evgeny Kuznetsov (questionable, upper body)

Puck Drop

Tonight’s game will be a late one, starting at 8:00 pm Arizona time. It will air on ESPN+, Fox Sports Arizona, and Fox Sports 910 AM.