As the seconds ticked away in the Arizona Coyotes’ last game against the Minnesota Wild, it briefly looked like the Coyotes would do it again. But, unfortunately, a two-goal lead was too much to overcome, and the Desert Dogs fell 4-3 in regulation.
The Coyotes continue to be their worst enemy as they give up early leads and take too many penalties. They are doing an excellent job at keeping games tight and staying in them, but they give themselves minimal margin of error.
However, Arizona has been getting more offense lately, including the much-coveted third goal in their last four games. And tonight’s opponent will be a good one to keep that streak going.
The Los Angeles Kings come into tonight’s game after a crazy one. The Kings scored two unanswered goals in the third period to tie the game 8-8 to force overtime before falling in overtime with a goal from André Burakovsky.
The matchup was a clash of two of the top three teams in the Pacific Division. Los Angeles is third in the division with a 12-9-4 record.
Los Angeles still needs to finish their rebuild, but things are progressing the right way. Most of their offseasons moves were shore-up pieces they already had, other than acquiring pending restricted free agent Kevin Fiala.
Arizona and Los Angeles have been rivals for a while, but this LA team is different. They are a high-offense team that is fifth in goals scored and has the 12th-best power play in the league.
The biggest problem for the Kings is that they are bleeding goals. They have allowed 90 goals, are second in the league behind the Anaheim Ducks, and have the sixth-worst power play in the NHL.
If the Coyotes want to have a chance tonight, they need to make their power play counts. On paper, this is a good matchup for the Desert Dogs, but whether or not they show that on the ice remains a question.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Nick Schmaltz - If the Coyotes’ last game showed anything, it was that Nick Schmaltz is back. He got the Coyotes’ on the board late in the second period, his third goal in three games.
Los Angeles: Kevin Fiala - In his first season in Los Angeles, Fiala is showing what made him a critical piece of the Minnesota Wild. Fiala had four assists in the Kings’ last game and has seven goals in 25 games.
Arizona: Josh Brown (questionable, upper body), Bryan Little (ear), Andrew Ladd (knee)
Los Angeles: Quinton Byfield (illness), Brendan Lemieux (lower body), Alex Iafolla (lower body), Jacob Ingham (back)
Tonight’s game is a late one with an 8:30 pm start time. It will air on Bally Sports Arizona and ESPN 620AM.