The Arizona Coyotes went into their last game hoping to rebound from a tough loss to the Minnesota Wild. But, unfortunately, what happened was an even worse loss to the Vegas Golden Knights, one that saw them fall 7-1.
Much like they had so many times earlier this season, poor play in the second period proved to the Coyotes’ undoing. A short-handed goal led to the Golden Knights scoring four goals in the span of fewer than eight minutes, sinking any chance of a comeback.
It should come as no surprise that Head Coach André Tourigny called the loss a “step back.” It was one of the most brutal losses since the season began when they couldn’t put a win together to save their lives. At this point, the Coyotes would probably be better served scrubbing the loss from their memories and deleting the game tape.
It hasn’t been long since these two teams last met, and the Dallas Stars have continued to play well. They extended their win streak another two games with wins over the Carolina Hurricanes and Columbus Blue Jackets.
Their last game was a tight matchup, and the Stars have continued to play close games. Their win over the Hurricanes was a 4-1 blowout thanks to a Roope Hintz hat-trick, but their last game against the Blue Jackets was a tight 3-2 win.
Special teams will be much more important against an opponent with a history of tight games, which unfortunately isn’t a great sign for the Coyotes.
The Stars’ special teams are a mixed bag, but their power play and penalty kill are better than the Coyotes. The Stars have the fourth-best power play, which means the Coyotes will want to stay disciplined and not take too many stupid penalties.
Dallas’ penalty kill is much weaker and is currently ranked 20th in the NHL. But despite the low ranking, the Stars haven’t given up a power play goal since before the last Coyotes’ game, giving up a power play goal to the St. Louis Blues on November 20th.
Dallas’ weaker penalty kill may be partially explained by the Stars is one of the least penalized teams in the league.
Arizona couldn’t score on their two power plays the last time they played the Stars, and it ultimately cost them the game. The Coyotes probably won’t get a lot of chances with the man advantage, and they will need to find a way to make something happen any chance they get.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Travis Boyd - Boyd had the Coyotes’ lone goal against the Vegas Golden Knights, giving him his sixth goal of the season. He has surpassed his previous career-high five goals and seems on pace for having a career year playing with Clayton Keller.
Dallas: Jason Robertson - Robertson comes into tonight riding a five-game point streak which saw him score four goals and four assists. He had two goals in the Stars’ last game, and a goal and an assist the last time the Coyotes played the Stars.
Arizona: Johan Larsson (lower body), Jay Beagle (lower body), Dmitrij Jaškin (lower body), Nick Schmaltz (upper body), Carter Hutton (lower body), Conor Timmins (knee)
Dallas: John Klingberg (probable, illness), Michael Raffl (questionable, illness), Radek Faksa (questionable, illness), Joel Kiviranta (questionable, upper body), Luke Glendening (questionable, lower body), Denis Gurianov (questionable, illness), Ben Bishop (knee)
Tonight’s game will be in Dallas at 6:30 pm Arizona time and will air on Bally Sports Arizona Plus and 620 AM.