clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Coyotes Game 30 Preview: Coyotes host the Canadiens in Monday matchup

The Arizona Coyotes are playing in the last game of a three-game home stand as they face off against the Montréal Canadiens.

Arizona Coyotes v Montreal Canadiens Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images

Game Preview

After stringing together a few impressive wins against the Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers, and New York Islanders, the Arizona Coyotes’ home win streak is over. The Coyotes fell 5-2 to the Buffalo Sabres last Saturday, a rough loss we have seen far too many times this season.

It is hard to understate how significant penalties are to the Coyotes' losses. Unfortunately, Saturday was one of those games, with the Sabres tying the game the first time and scoring the eventual game-winner on the power play.

Penalties have been a problem all season and will probably continue to be an issue for the rest of the season. The Yotes continue to take penalties at the worst possible time, early in games, immediately after scoring goals, late in periods, etc., and the penalty hasn’t been good enough to make up for it. Any time the Desert Dogs look to be building momentum, you can count on someone to take a quick trip to the box to kill it before it can turn into something.

That’s not to say the Coyotes’ game against the Sabres had no bright spots. They recorded a power play, a rare occurrence for a team that only converts 20% of the time with the man advantage, and Barrett Hayton registered his first goal of the season. Hayton’s role has been more defensive this season, but he has had a few chances, and it was great to see him finally record a goal after a phenomenal individual effort to force a turnover and skate in on a breakaway.

The Arizona Coyotes have had a rare opportunity to sweep their opponents in their past two games. Since they only see the New York Islanders and Buffalo Sabres twice a season, beating them both times is an excellent highlight and is what will continue to be a rough season. But tonight, the Coyotes are looking to avoid getting swept by the Montréal Canadiens.

The Coyotes and Canadiens met in the Coyotes’ fourth game of the season, right after they recorded their first win when they beat the Maple Leafs 4-2. But, unfortunately, they would need to wait a bit longer to get their first win streak, as the Canadiens beat the Coyotes 6-2.

Since then, the Canadiens have sunk to the bottom of the Atlantic Division. With 30 points in 31 games, they aren’t the worst team in the NHL, but they aren’t playing much better than the bottom teams.

Montréal comes into tonight’s game riding a three-game losing streak that saw them fall to the Tampa Bay Lightning, Anaheim Ducks, and Ottawa Senators. Of course, there is no shame in losing to the Lightning, but the Senators are just as bad as the Canadiens, and the Ducks may be one of the worst teams in NHL history.

It’s pretty clear why the Canadiens lost those three games and seven of their past ten; they give up a lot of goals. Montréal is seventh in the league in goals against, and they have given up five or more goals in four games this past month. Despite that, they have an average penalty kill, ranked 16th in the league while killing 79.0% of penalties, so the Coyotes shouldn’t expect an easy night for their power play.

Players to Watch

Arizona: Jakob Chychrun - Chychrun had an assist on Shayne Gostisbehere’s goal and his third assist in two games. Since returning, he has been on a near-point-per-game pace and has three goals and nine assists in 13 games.

Montréal: Nick Suzuki - Suzuki had the Canadiens’ lone goal against the Lightning, his 15th of the season. This season, he is a point-per-game player with 15 goals and 16 assists in 31 games and had a goal against the Coyotes in their first matchup.

Injuries

Arizona: Liam O’Brien (upper body), Bryan Little (ear), Andrew Ladd (knee)

Montréal: Emil Heineman (upper body), Paul Byron (lower body), Sean Monahan (lower body), David Savard (upper body), Brendan Gallagher (lower body), Carey Price (knee)

Puck Drop

Tonight’s game will be at Mullett Arena with an 8:00 pm start time. It will air on Bally Sports Arizona Extra and ESPN 620AM.