The Arizona Coyotes have had a rough week. They played the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues back-to-back and lost both games. Thursday’s loss to the Blues was a brutal one, where they were shut out 1-0.
Goaltender Antti Raanta was the only reason the game was as close as it was. The Blues had 46 shots on the night, and Raanta only let one in. Meanwhile, on the other end of the ice, the Coyotes were limited to just 14 shots on goal for the entire game.
This season the Coyotes have been extremely inconsistent. Thursday was the fifth time they were shut out this season, the Coyotes can’t afford to have it happen again.
The loss was a blow to the Coyotes’ playoff chances, but they are still the race. They have been overtaken by the Winnipeg Jets, who have one more point than the Coyotes and have played two fewer games. They are also only four points behind the Vegas Golden Knights for first in the Pacific, although they have played two more games.
Unfortunately, things aren’t going to get easier for the Coyotes tonight. The Tampa Bay Lightning’s 85 points are second in the NHL.
The Lightning are coming into tonight’s game after a rare loss to the Vegas Gold Knights. Before that, they had won their last 11 games, a streak that went all the way back January.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have few, if any, weaknesses. They lead the league with 216 goals scored and are sixth in goals-against having only allowed 164. Their power play is fourth in the league, converting 23.8% of the time, and they have the fifth-best penalty kill with an 83.2% success rating.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Taylor Hall - Hall lead the team with four shots on goal against the Blues. The Coyotes are still in the playoff hunt but if they are going to make it in they need players like Hall to step up and carry the team on their shoulders sometimes.
Tampa: Steven Stamkos - Stamkos is having a bit of an off season, so far he has only scored 29 goals. He scored twice in the Lightning’s last game and is currently riding a 13 game point streak.
Arizona: Jakob Chychrun (questionable, lower body), Vinnie Hinostroza (questionable, illness), Jason Demers (oblique), Darcy Kuemper (lower body)
Tampa: Brayden Point (probable, flu), Cedric Paquette (questionable, undisclosed), Ryan McDonagh (lower body), Jan Rutta (lower body)
Tonight’s game will be at 6:00 pm Arizona time and will air on Fox Sports Arizona Plus and Fox Sports 910 AM.