At this point in the season, the Arizona Coyotes need all the points they can get. And while getting a point after a shootout loss is something, the Coyotes are going to need more as they attempt to climb back up the standings.
The Coyotes dug themselves a pretty big hole against the Chicago Blackhawks. They were done 2-0 less than five minutes into the second period. But goals from Brad Richardson and Conor Garland would tie the game.
Arizona’s special teams were a mixed bag against Chicago. The Coyotes had two power play opportunities in the third period which would have broken the tie and failed to convert on either. But while the power play struggled, the penalty kill was perfect, and Chicago didn’t convert on their three power plays.
Saturday was a great showing for goaltender Antti Raanta. The first goal he gave up was a rough one, but he would more than makeup with it later in the game. Raanta would make 42 saves on the night.
The Edmonton Oilers have climbed their way back up the standings and are currently the second team in the Pacific Division. While the Coyotes were going to the shoot out against the Blackhawks, Edmonton was climbing the standings with an 8-3 win against the Calgary Flames.
That matchup would prove to be a big one for the Oilers. The provincial rivalry is really heating up, and lead to a massive blowout. Goaltender and former-Coyote Mike Smith even got involved, with a rare goalie fight.
All hell breaks loose in the Battle of Alberta, including a goalie fight between Mike Smith and Cam Talbot pic.twitter.com/7YRcWnFbEx— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) February 2, 2020
But the Oilers are more than just a line brawl. Leon Draisaitl and Conor McDavid are still major offensive threats and are 29-54-83 and 29-50-79 respectively. It’s hard to overstate the impact that those two players have on the ice.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Conor Garland - Garland scored his team-leading 17th goal against the Blackhawks this past weekend. The Coyotes are going to need offense from players like Garland moving forward.
Edmonton: Leon Draisaitl - Draisaitl had four assists in the Oilers win against the Flames. He has only been held pointless eight games this season.
Arizona: Ilya Lyubushkin (questionable, illness), Oliver Ekman-Larsson (questionable, lower body), Barrett Hayton (shoulder), Darcy Kuemper (lower body)
Edmonton: James Neal (questionable, foot), Joakim Nygard (hand), Kris Russell (concussion)
Tonight’s game will be at 7:00 pm Arizona time and will air on Fox Sports Arizona, ESPN +, SN1, and Fox Sports 910 AM.