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GDT Game 70: Coyotes look to regain ground against Jets

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After a disappointing loss to the Flames, the Arizona Coyotes look to rebound against the Winnipeg Jets.

Arizona Coyotes v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Darcy Finley/NHLI via Getty Images

Game Preview

The Arizona Coyotes’ playoff hopes don’t currently hang on a single game’s result, but Friday’s loss 3-2 loss to the Calgary Flames doesn’t make things any easier for them.

Arizona did start things out strong. Taylor Hall got his 16th of the season just over one minute into the first period after a great feed from Clayton Keller. Unfortunately, the Flames would respond with two goals in the first period giving them the 2-1 lead going into the second.

The Coyotes would need a big second period to even things up. The Flames would get the first goal of the period from Michael Backlund. Arizona would outshoot the Flames 21-12 in the second period, and get a goal from Carl Soderberg, cutting Calgary’s lead in half.

Unfortunately, the Coyotes would again fail to get the third goal. The shots were low in the third period, and despite having another power play opportunity they were unable to convert. Arizona’s record with two or fewer goals is 1-22-5 while it is 32-6-3 when they get the third goal.

With the loss, the Arizona Coyotes are currently two points out of a playoff spot. The Flames have 79 points, and they may be out of reach for the Coyotes, but they can still overtake the Vancouver Canucks, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, or Winnipeg Jets for a playoff spot.

The Coyotes will be without their leading goalscorer Conor Garland. Garland was injured in the Coyotes loss to the Flames and is currently listed as week to week with a lower-body injury. The Coyotes have had difficulties generating consistently generating offense this season, and the loss of Garland could prove to be a significant hurdle.

At one point it looked like the Winnipeg Jets were completely out of the race. Their blueline was decimated by injuries, trades, and the suspension of Dustin Byfuglien and expectations dropped. Not too long ago people talked about the Jets like they would be a Stanley Cup contender for years to come, but that changed this season.

Despite all of that, the Jets have managed to climb back up the standings. They are one of the four teams competing with the Coyotes for a playoff spot and they have had a lot of recent success. The Jets have won their last two games, limiting the Buffalo Sabres to one goal and shutting out the Vegas Golden Knights.

Players to Watch

Arizona: Taylor Hall - Hall had the Coyotes first goal and an assist on Carl Soderberg’s goal. The team needs Hall to provide offense, and it’s hard to argue with two points.

Winnipeg: Kyle Connor - Connor currently leads the Jets in both goals scored and points. He is currently riding a five-game goal streak, with eight points in that stretch.

Injuries

Arizona: Conor Garland (lower body), Jakob Chychrun (lower body)

Winnipeg: Anthony Bitetto (undisclosed), Sami Niku (lower body), Dustin Byfuglien (suspension), Luca Sbisa (upper body), Adam Lowry (day-to-day, arm), Carl Dahlstrom (hand), Bryan Little (ear), Mark Letestu (myocarditis)

Puck Drop

Tonight’s game will be at 5:00 pm Arizona time and will air on Fox Sports Arizona and Fox Sports 910 AM.