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GDT Game 4: Coyotes looking to even series against Avalanche

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Colorado has a 2-1 lead on the series and the Coyotes are looking to even things up today.

Colorado Avalanche v Arizona Coyotes - Game Three Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

Game Preview

The Arizona Coyotes went into Saturday’s game down 2-0 in their best-of-seven series against the Colorado Avalanche. They finished the game with a 4-2 win, and one game away from evening the series.

Like the Coyotes’ last series, the team that scores first has won every game so far. Saturday was the first time that Arizona managed to score first.

The Coyotes started well enough, and they managed to get on the board early with Derek Stepan getting his first goal of the postseason with a feed from Clayton Keller and Taylor Hall.

Something would happen after the Coyotes’ first goal. Either the Coyotes retreated into a more defensive style of play to protect their lead, or Colorado has another gear they could shift into because it was all almost all Colorado after.

But the Coyotes were able to bend without breaking. They got their own last-minute goal when Brad Richardson got his second of the postseason with just 34 seconds remaining. And once the Avalanche pulled Pavel Francouz they would get two empty-net goals from Taylor Hall and Lawson Crouse.

Arizona is still looking for their first power play goal of the series. During the regular season, the Avalanche had an average penalty kill, they were ranked 13th with an 81.4% success rate. The Desert Dogs should not be having this level of difficulty on the man advantage.

The Colorado Avalanche threw a lot of rubber at Darcy Kuemper. They put 51 shots on goal, with two of them going in. On the one hand, the Coyotes did their part with 27 blocked shots, on the other, the Coyotes can not allow the Avalanche to set up in their zone and turn it into a shooting gallery.

It isn’t that the Coyotes have been bad during the series. There have been stretches where they have looked great and have made the series interesting. But more often than not the Coyotes have been on the back foot and have been restricted to working their best to keep the Avalanche off their board.

Players to watch

Arizona: Taylor Hall - Hall had a goal and an assist in the last game giving him a total of six points in the postseason.

Colorado: Andre Burakovsky - Burakovsky has goals in the past two games and has been a big part of the Avalanche’s offense. Burakovsky is coming off a regular-season which saw him set career-highs in both goals (20) and assists (25).

Injuries

Arizona: Nick Schmaltz (questionable, neck)

Colorado: Vladislav Namestnikov (questionable, concussion), Colin Wilson (lower body)

Puck Drop

Today’s game is a later start with a 2:30 pm start time. It will air on Fox Sports Arizona, Altitude Sports, and NBC Sports with Fox Sports 910 AM handling the radio broadcast.