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Coyotes Game 27 Preview: Coyotes host Flyers in the second game of a back-to-back

Arizona Coyotes look to end their losing streak against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Arizona Coyotes v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

Game Preview

The Arizona Coyotes knew they had a tough matchup last night. The Florida Panthers are one of the top teams in the NHL and have plenty of offensive threats.

The Panthers were able to take an early lead with two goals in the span of ten seconds, and that would prove to be enough. The Coyotes managed to cut the Panther’s lead in half with a rare power play goal, but that was all the scoring the Desert Dogs could muster. Florida scored another goal before the end of the first, and neither team found the back of the net for the remaining 40 minutes.

Last night did see the return of two former Coyotes, Nick Schmaltz and Jay Beagle. Unfortunately, neither showed up on the score sheet, but Schmaltz looked good and seems poised to be a big part of the Coyotes’ offense moving forward.

While the Coyotes were getting beaten by the Panthers, the Philadelphia Flyers ended their 10-game losing streak by beating the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 in regulation.

Philadelphia’s win show’s how important special teams can be. The score was tied at 2-2 going into the third, but Philadelphia got two early power plays and scored on both. The Flyers then took the subsequent three penalties, and the Golden Knights scored on one power play but couldn’t find the equalizer.

The Flyers do not have the best special teams despite the two goals last night. They are better than the Coyotes, almost everyone is, but not by much.

The Flyers’ power play is ranked 26th in the league, converting only 16.0% of the time. Florida’s penalty kill is slightly better at 21st in the NHL. Either way, this will hopefully be an even enough matchup.

Carter Hart got the start last night, which means we will likely see Martin Jones tonight for the Flyers. Jones has struggled this season, and in nine games played, he has a 3.41 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage.

The Coyotes started Scott Wedgewood last night, so we will probably see Karel Vejmelka start for the Coyotes. Wedgewood gave the Coyotes their last win thanks to a 46 save shut out against the Winnipeg Jets.

Players to Watch

Arizona: Shayne Gostisbehere - Ghost is tied with Clayton Keller with a team-leading 17 points. Gostisbehere has been a critical piece of the Coyotes’ offense this season, and the team needs him to have a big night against the team that traded him.

Philadelphia: Keith Yandle - Yandle catches some slack, but he had two assists against the Golden Knights last night. Given how well former Coyotes have played against the Coyotes this season

Injuries

Arizona: Johan Larsson (lower body), Dmitrij Jaškin (lower body), Carter Hutton (lower body), Conor Timmins (knee)

Philadelphia: Derick Brassard (questionable, lower body), Joel Farabee (upper body), Nate Thompson (shoulder), Ryan Ellis (lower body), Tanner Laczynski (hip)

Puck Drop

Tonight’s game will be at Gila River Arena at 7:00 pm and will air on Bally Sports Arizona and 620 AM.