Last night wasn’t the best game that the Arizona Coyotes have played this season. It was great to see Jakob Chychrun get his first NHL hat-trick, but the team didn’t play their best against the Anaheim Ducks. But they got two points which is the most important thing.
Now, the Coyotes need to find a way to play a better, more complete game against tonight’s opponent, the Los Angeles Kings.
Tonight should be a similar matchup. Like the Ducks, the Kings are currently rebuilding and have a few young, highly talented players. And while those players have a lot of skill, they are still a few years off from being game-changers in the NHL.
Unlike the Ducks, the Kings are a better team. For a while, it looked like LA was going to be competing for the final playoff spot. But they have since dropped in the standings and are currently seven points behind the Desert Dogs. But they are still five points up on the Ducks, despite playing three fewer games.
The Kings have been a mixed bag since they last met the Coyotes at the beginning of March. They split a two-game series with the St. Louis Blues, with both games went to overtime, and won two of the four games they played against the Vegas Golden Knights. They also did the Coyotes a favor, beating the St. Louis Blues 4-1 on the 17th.
But things aren’t all rosy for the Kings. They dropped four games against the San Jose Sharks since last playing the Coyotes. If you are curious why the Scottsdale Sharks are tied with the Blues and only three points behind the Coyotes, four of the Sharks’ six wins in their last ten games have come against the Kings.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Clayon Keller - Chychrun may have gotten the hat-trick, but Keller had a good game against the Ducks and registered an assist. The team could use more offense from their forwards, including players like Keller.
Los Angeles: Dustin Brown - Brown has been a surprise this season, although not one that Coyotes fans are going to like. But he already has 15 goals in only 34 games and has become a surprinsg offensive threat for the Kings.
Arizona: Tyler Pitlick (lower body), Antti Raanta (undisclosed), Niklas Hjalmarsson (upper body), Darcy Kuemper (lower body)
Los Angeles: Tobiasn Bjornfot (questionable, undisclosed), Matt Roy (COVID protocol), Brendan Lemieux (COVID protocol), Olli Maatta (upper body), Matrin Frk (lower body)
Tonight's game will be at 7:00 pm Arizona time and will air on Bally Sports Arizona and on Fox Sports 910 AM.