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Coyotes Game 23 Preview: Coyotes look to end losing streak against the Flames

The Arizona Coyotes are playing the penultimate game of their long road trip.

Arizona Coyotes v Calgary Flames Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images

Game Preview

The road trip can not end soon enough. The Arizona Coyotes dropped their fourth straight game, falling 3-2 in overtime to the Vancouver Canucks. Surprising no one who has watched a Coyotes game this season, penalties played a significant part again.

Penalties have been a problem for the Coyotes all season, and the past few games have been no exception. But Saturday’s loss to the Canucks may be the worst one when it comes to stupidly timed penalties.

Vancouver had eight power play opportunities against the Coyotes, and they converted on two. Bo Horvat scored both power play goals, including the game-winner with 51 seconds left in overtime.

Two of the Coyotes’ penalties were for too many men on the ice, including the one that led to Horvat’s goal. Expecting the Coyotes to play a perfect game is a mistake, but they have repeatedly been hit with bench minors for too many men on the ice this season.

Even when the Coyotes successfully killed penalties, they weren’t getting a momentum boost. Neither of the Coyotes’ goals came after a successful kill, but the Coyotes ended up taking penalties after both goals.

The Calgary Flames had a busy offseason. After Matthew Tkachuk kicked things off when he let the team know he wasn’t interested in staying long-term, the team shipped him to the Panthers for a package that included Jonathan Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar, and a first-round pick. Also out is Sean Monahan, who had to be packaged with a pick to get future considerations, and Johnny Gaudreau, who left as a free agent to play for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

That’s a lot of big-name players leaving, but the Flames did win the Nazem Kadri sweepstakes, who signed a seven-year, $7 million deal. That, and some good work signing RFAs, led people to think things may work out for the Flames this season.

Unfortunately for the Flames, that may have been a tad optimistic. The Flames are currently fifth in the Pacific Division with just two more points than the Vancouver Canucks. Of course, the Pacific Division is pretty crazy right now, so who knows where they will end up, but things aren’t looking great.

The Flames come into tonight’s game with momentum, beating the Capitals 5-2 at home last Saturday. It was their second win on their five-game homestand, having started things off with a 6-2 win over the Florida Panthers. Either way, it would be best for the Coyotes to take the Flames seriously tonight.

Players to Watch

Arizona: Jakob Chychrun - Chychrun scored his second goal in four games against the Canucks on the power play, giving him two goals and two assists in six games this season. It’s clear that he isn’t experiencing any lingering injury problems, and teams around the league are likely taking notice.

Calgary: Andrew Mangiapane - Mangiapane had two goals against the Capitals to give him six on the season. Last season he had 35 goals in 82 games, and while his scoring rate is down this season, the Coyotes don’t want to give him room.


Arizona: Byran Little (ear), Andrew Ladd (knee)

Calgary: Oliver Kylington (personal)

Puck Drop

Tonight’s game will be in Calgary at 7:00 pm Arizona time, and it will air on SN1 and Bally Sports Arizona Extra and on the radio on ESPN 620AM.