The Arizona Coyotes’ schedule is going to do them a lot of favors in the coming weeks.
They will play the San Jose Sharks four more times, the Los Angeles Kings three more times, and the St. Louis Blues once more. Not only are those winnable games, but they are games against the teams directly below them.
But it isn’t all easy, and the Coyotes will be entering a very tough part of the schedule. That starts tonight, with a game against the Vegas Golden Knights.
Arizona learned an important lesson on Wednesday, play a full sixty minutes and don’t stop until you have two points. And as much as that was the case against the Kings, it is absolutely going to be the case against the Vegas Golden Knights.
The Coyotes were doing so well on Thursday. They got an early lead with Lawson Crouse and Ilya Lyubushkin scoring in the first period and Johan Larsson scoring in the second.
Arizona has struggled to stay offensively consistent, but this is close to an ideal situation for them. Good secondary scoring to make up for their top stars going cold while spread out across the lineup.
But the Kings were able to make adjustments to their game and come out with a strong third period. Not only did they erase the Coyotes’ two-goal lead, but they also overtook it, leading to a regulation win.
And this is another problem we have seen again and again with the Coyotes this season. Arizona played well going into the third period, but the Kings made adjustments to their game, and the Coyotes weren’t.
Tonight is an interesting time to play the Golden Knights. They have lost four of their last five, including games to the St. Louis Blues and Los Angeles Kings. Not only are those games we would expect the Golden Knights to win, but they are teams that are behind the Coyotes.
Vegas’ losses haven’t been blowouts. Los Angeles scored four goals, but that was the most that Vegas has allowed. And with games being tighter, the Coyotes need to find a way to get that ever-elusive third goal of the game.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Jakob Chychrun - Chychrun has been the Coyotes' best defenseman all season, and his offense is really starting to pick up. He had two assists in his last game, and has seven points in his last three.
Vegas: William Carrier - Carrier isn't the biggest name on the Golden Knights, but he generated offense against the Blues. He had an assist in his last game, with a goal and an assist in the prior game.
Arizona: Tyler Pitlick (lower body), Antti Raanta (undisclosed), Niklas Hjalmarsson (upper body), Darcy Kuemper (lower body)
Vegas: Alec Martinez (questionable, undisclosed), Patrick Brown (questionable, undisclosed), Zach Whitecloud (questionable, undisclosed), Jiri Patera (undisclosed)
Tonight's game will be at 7:00 pm Arizona time and will air on Bally Sports Arizona Plus and Fox Sports 910 AM.