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Coyotes Game 57 Preview: Coyotes' road trip continues tonight against the Maple Leafs

The Arizona Coyotes look to continue their winning ways tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Arizona Coyotes Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images

Game Preview

Three games in, and the Arizona Coyotes are still undefeated in March. And if that wasn’t surprising enough, they have been winning games in a truly absurd fashion.

The Coyotes started their five-game road trip with a surprise 9-2 blowout win over the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit isn’t exactly the best team in the world, but neither are the Coyotes. The win came after the Coyotes beat the Senators 8-5, making it two straight games where the Coyotes’ offense came alive.

It’s hard to say why the Coyotes are winning now, and why they are winning big. The team seems more comfortable playing together, and they appear to have fully bought into Head Coach Tourigny’s system. Still, even with that, you wouldn’t expect them to become an offensive dynamo overnight.

Arizona hasn’t been playing perfectly, though, and they can work on plenty of things.

Special teams were an issue against the Red Wings. Arizona allowed two power play goals and failed to convert with the man advantage. It didn’t make much difference against the Red Wings, but the Coyotes don’t want to push their luck.

Tonight’s game should be an especially big night for a couple of players on the Coyotes. Players always seem to do their best against their former team, and the Coyotes have plenty of former Toronto Maple Leafs on their roster.

After playing two weaker teams, the Coyotes will face much tougher competition tonight. The Maple Leafs aren’t the best team in the NHL, but they are better than the Ottawa Senators and Red Wings.

Toronto’s games have been pretty high-offense lately. They come into tonight’s game riding a two-game win streak after beating the Seattle Kraken 6-4 and the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-4. Even when they aren’t winning, the games have featured a lot of goals, a 6-4 loss to the Vancouver Canucks and a 5-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.

Players to Watch

Arizona: Nick Ritchie - Ritchie is the Coyotes’ newest acquisition, and he seems to be fitting in well with the Desert Dogs. In five games with the Yotes, he has three goals and two assists.

Toronto: Auston Matthews - Matthews had a hat-trick in the Leafs’ last game and comes into tonight’s game with 43 goals on the season. He has 75 points through 54 games this season and could score 100 for the first time in his career.

Injuries

Arizona: Antoine Roussel (lower body), Liam O’Brien (upper body), Andrew Ladd (lower body), Johan Larsson (hernia), Jay Beagle (lower body), Dmitrij Jaškin (lower body), Conor Timmins (knee)

Toronto: Rasmus Sandin (questionable, illness), Jake Muzzin (concussion)

Puck Drop

Tonight’s game will be in Toronto with a 5:00 pm start time. It will air on Bally Sports Arizona and 620 AM.