The Arizona Coyotes are back in action tonight after a few rest days. The Coyotes played in their third back-to-back of the season, and by the end of their game against the Los Angeles Kings, it certainly looked like they needed some rest.
Arizona played well against the Kings, but it was far from a perfect game. They still took too many penalties and took them at the worst times. Luckily, the Coyotes had goaltender Karel Vejmelka standing tall, just as Scott Wedgewood had the previous night.
Wedgewood will be back in net for the Coyotes today, but it would be best not to give the Edmonton Oilers too many chances. Edmonton is third in the league with 67 goals scored in 18 games, and they have the league’s best power play (38.2%). They also have the sixth-best penalty kill, so either way, special teams will be a tough battle for the Coyotes.
The Oilers are currently second in the Pacific Division, three points behind the Calgary Flames with two games in hand. They haven’t had the most challenging schedule this month, but they will be playing the Coyotes as the second back-to-back game.
Edmonton played on the road last night against the Dallas Stars, a matchup they dropped 4-1. The lone goal came from Ryan McLeod, a bit unusual, although Leon Draisaitl assisted on the goal, which is pretty standard for Draisaitl.
The Stars were able to beat the Oilers thanks in part to a successful power play. Edmonton took two penalties midway through the first period, and the Stars found a way to capitalize on both power plays, giving them an early lead. Unfortunately for the Coyotes, the Stars’ power play is currently ranked fourth in the NHL, while the Coyotes’ is ranked 29th.
With Stuart Skinner playing last night, Mikko Koskinen seems the likely starter for the Oilers tonight. Koskinen is playing in his fourth season with the Oilers and has played in 11 games so far this season. He currently has a .910 save percentage and a 2.96 goals-against average.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Clayton Keller - Keller took a big step this past offseason, and he has looked like a much better player this season. He is willing to use his added muscle and cut to the net while maintaining his playmaking ability. He comes into tonight’s game with four points in the last three games.
Edmonton: Conor McDavid - McDavid didn’t score last night, ending his point-streak to start the season at 17 games. In those 17 games, he had 12 goals and 20 assists, and he likely won’t be quiet for long.
Arizona: Anton Strålman (questionable, lower body), Jay Beagle (lower body), Johan Larsson (COVID-19 protocol), Andrew Ladd (COVID-19 protocol), Christian Fischer (upper body), Dmitrij Jaškin (lower body), Nick Schmaltz (upper body), Carter Hutton (lower body), Conor Timmins (knee)
Edmonton: Duncan Keith (questionable, upper body), Alex Stalock (heart), Dylan Holloway (wrist), Slater Koekkoek (lower body), Darnell Nurse (finger), Devin Shore (lower body), Mike Smith (leg), Josh Archibald (illness)
Tonight’s game will be at 8:00 pm Arizona time and will air on Bally Sports Arizona+ and 98.7 FM.