If you still had hope for the Arizona Coyotes making the playoffs, Monday must have been a rough night. After a 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings, the Coyotes are one loss away from being mathematically eliminated.
Monday's loss was unusual compared to their more recent losses.
The third goal again proved to be a killer for the Desert Dogs, and they were doing everything else decently well. The Coyotes scored first, and they scored on the power play, two things that the team struggles to do consistently. But they couldn't get that third goal to tie it up and force overtime.
Arizona did have to deal with some adversity before the start of the game. Nick Schmaltz caught a stray puck up high during warm-ups and was unable to play the game. We don't know if it would have changed anything, but Schmaltz was one game removed from a three-game point streak where he recorded four assists.
But even if Schmaltz isn't ready tonight, it won't come as a shock, and they won't need to play with seven defensemen.
If the Coyotes want to keep any hope alive, they need to win tonight's game. And if that isn't enough motivation, a win tonight splits the series, rather than LA getting both wins.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Jakob Chychrun - Chychrun had one of the rare power play goals on Monday getting him his 17th goal of the season. He is on pace for 27 goals over a regular season in an 82-game season, which is just insane.
Los Angeles: Anze Kopitar - Kopitar had a goal and an assist on Monday moving him 999 career points. Getting 1,000 points seems inevitable for Kopitar, but he can wait until Friday when the Kings play the Avalanche.
Arizona: Nick Schmaltz (doubtful, head), Antti Raanta (upper body), Tyler Pitlick (lower body), Jordan Gross (lower body)
Los Angeles: Jonathan Quick (questionable, upper body), Blake Lizotte (questionable, upper body), Matt Luff (undisclosed)
Tonight's game will be at 7:00 pm Arizona time and it will air on Bally Sports Arizona X and Fox Sports 910 AM.