Yesterday the Arizona Coyotes returned home from a road trip to continue their series against the St. Louis Blues. It did not go as planned, with the Desert Dogs falling 4-1 to the Blues.
The score does not reflect how close the game ended up being. The Coyotes pulled Darcy Kuemper twice, and the Blues scored two empty-net goals, inflating the loss.
Like the previous game, the Blues managed to strike first. The Coyotes scored first in three of the five games played and won two of those. Arizona showed that they have what it takes to come back against the Blues, but it is best not to test that.
The Coyotes got reinforcements last night as Captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson returned since the second game of the season. Unfortunately, that balances out with Niklas Hjalmarsson missing most of the game after sustaining an upper-body injury early in the first.
Arizona needs to head into tonight’s matchup ready to do pretty much everything the same with very few things to clear up. The biggest issue is that the team is going to need to be more disciplined.
The Blues only had two opportunities, this is good compared to the four they have had in past games, but they managed to score on one of those.
St. Louis scored on their first power play, giving them the early lead. Even though the Coyotes were able to come back and tie it after that, it is still never a good thing to give your opponent an early lead.
Arizona has to deal with Johan Larsson having a hearing with Player Safety after being called for a “check to the head.” Thankfully, nobody was hurt, but the Coyotes may still miss out due to a lack of discipline.
Also important is tonight is the Coyotes’ first Reverse Retro night.
The Coyotes have one of the best Reverse Retro jerseys, updating what was considered their worst jersey with a new color to make it pop for 2021. And to paraphrase former-Coyote Keith Yandle, “you can’t lose on Reverse Retro night.”
Players to Watch
Arizona: Conor Garland - Garland and the "Short Leash" Line were quiet yesterday, with his lone goal being overturned after a video review showed the play offside. The Coyotes are putting a lot of their eggs in one basket, and need their top players to produce.
St. Louis: Justin Faulk - Faulk had his best game of the series, scoring two goals and registering an assist. So far he has three goals and two assists in the five games against the Coyotes.
Arizona: Drake Caggiula (lower body), John Hayden (COVID-19), Niklas Hjalmarsson (questionable, upper body)
St. Louis: Marco Scandella (questionable, upper body), Sammy Blais (questionable, undisclosed), Robert Thomas (thumb), Tyler Bozak (upper body), Vladimir Tarasenko (shoulder)
Tonight's game will be at 6:00 pm Arizona time and will air on Fox Sports Arizona and Fox Sports 910 AM.