At points in the regular season, it looked like the Arizona Coyotes were going to miss the playoffs. Today the Coyotes are just one win away from winning their play-in series and officially entering the playoffs.
The first goal has proven to be key in this series. In all three games, the team that scored first won the game. More specifically the team that scored first would end up scoring four goals and winning the game.
The two games that the Coyotes have won they have managed to get offense from their best players. Christian Dvorak, Conor Garland, Taylor Hall, and Carl Soderberg were all key to the Coyotes offense during the regular season and they all scored Wednesday.
Special teams have been key this series, and Wednesday game was no exception. There were far fewer penalties called this game, making them all the more important. The Coyotes were able to get their second power play goal of the postseason when Hall scored, killing any Nashville momentum and keeping them off the scoresheet.
The real star of the show was in net, with Darcy Kuemper again proving to be the Coyotes’ MVP. We all knew that goaltending was going to be key for this series and that continues to hold true.
The Predators had already taken eight shots before the Coyotes got their first, Dvorak’s goal on Juuse Saros. The Coyotes were badly outshot throughout the entire game and Kuemper did his job keeping his team in the game long enough for the offense to kick in.
But the last win is going to be the hardest and Nashville is not going to leave anything in the tank today. If they lose today there is no game five, so the Coyotes are going to need to find a way to start strong and keep them off the board.
Players to watch
Arizona: Taylor Hall - Hall had another two-point afternoon on Wednesday with a goal and an assist. He has scored in both of the Coyotes wins and is proving himself to be a key piece of the team.
Nashville: Viktor Arvidsson - Arvidsson has goals in his past two games, and has been getting a lot of ice time. On Wednesday he leads all Nashville forwards in time on ice, playing 19:50.
Arizona: Antti Raanta (questionable, head), Nick Schmaltz (questionable, neck)
Today’s game in Edmonton will be at 11:30 Arizona time and will air on Fox Sports Arizona, Fox Sports Tennessee, and the NHL Network and the radio on Fox Sports 910 AM.