Despite stealing a point against the Nashville Predators this past Monday, the Arizona Coyotes’ losing streak continued. The Desert Dogs fell 4-3 to the Predators in the seventh round of the shootout in one of their more resilient games.
The Coyotes did everything possible to make winning harder for themselves, and it didn’t take long for them to start. The Yotes continued their recent poor starts with three penalties in the first ten minutes.
Nashville eventually scored on their third power play, their first of two power play goals. Their third goal came 5-on-5, but seconds after scoring with the man advantage, so you can also count that one as part of the problem.
But when the Coyotes weren’t short-handed, they played well. They got two 5-on-5 goals, a luxury this season, and they played well. If they had taken two fewer penalties, who knows what could have happened?
Last Monday also saw the return of two long-time Coyotes who had missed significant time, Jakob Chychrun and Nick Schmaltz. Neither registered a point in the matchup, although Schmaltz did lead the team with five shots on goal. It may take a few games for both players to be fully ready, but neither showed any signs of their injuries lingering.
While the Coyotes are near the bottom of the standings, the Carolina Hurricanes are on the other end of the spectrum. They are second in the Metro behind the New Jersey Devils, who are currently dominating with a 13-game win streak.
The Hurricanes have quite a few familiar faces for Coyotes fans. Goaltender Antti Raanta and forwards Derek Stepan and Jordan Martinook all suit up for Carolina.
Carolina also comes into tonight’s game with a point earned this past Monday. They fell 4-3 to the Winnipeg Jets, their third straight overtime loss to a Central Division team after losing to the Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild. The Coyotes aren’t on that level, but they may continue the trend.
Arizona has the edge on special teams going into tonight’s game. The Hurricanes’ power play is absolutely dreadful, ranked 30th in the league ahead of only the Columbus Blue Jackets and Anaheim Ducks, only converting 14.3% of the time. Their penalty kill is definitely better, 15th in the league with a 78.8% success rate, but they are still well below the Coyotes in both categories.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Matias Maccelli - Maccelli had an assist in the Coyotes’ last game, his tenth of the season. He is one of the most exciting rookies this season, although he isn’t getting too many goals himself.
Carolina: Andrei Svechnikov - Svechnikov is fourth in the league in goals scored with 13, and he had a goal and an assist in the Hurricanes’ last game. Last season Svechnikov scored a career-high 30 goals, and he is on pace to easily surpass that.
Arizona: Josh Brown (questionable, upper body), Zack Kassian (lower body), Bryan Little (wrist), Andrew Ladd (knee)
Carolina: Teuvo Teräväinen (upper body), Frederik Andersen (lower body), Ondřej Kaše (concussion), Max Pacioretty (achilles), Jake Gardiner (hip)
Tonight’s game will be at 5:00 pm Arizona time and will air on Bally Sports Arizona and ESPN 620AM.