Fortunately, the Coyotes don’t have to wait too long to start another win streak. Tonight will be the first night of a back-to-back against two of the other bottom NHL teams, the Ottawa Senators and the Montréal Canadiens.
While the Coyotes have been doing surprisingly well lately, injuries are starting to catch up to them. The Yotes started losing players early in the season, with Dmitrij Jaškin and Conor Timmins getting sidelined long-term with lower-body injuries. That trend continued on Saturday when the Coyotes’ defenseman Jakob Chychrun left the game early with a lower-body injury and flew back to Arizona yesterday for an MRI.
Fortunately for the Coyotes, they have had plenty of players ready to step up. Hudson Fasching took Christain Fischer’s spot against the Bruins, and Chychrun being out could serve as another shot for young defenseman Kyle Capobianco.
The Ottawa Senators have had an interesting journey since falling 8-5 to the Coyotes. The Senators lost a tight 2-1 game to the Vegas Golden Knights, beat the St Louis Blues 4-1 and the Seattle Kraken 4-3, and fell 6-3 to the Chicago Blackhawks. That isn’t the record you would expect from a team that gave up eight goals against the Arizona Coyotes.
If there is one problem that the Coyotes and Senators share, they are both unable to finish a game. That was clear when they played against each other, and both teams scored multiple unanswered goals to retake control of the game, and the Senators’ haven’t gotten much better at it since then.
The Senators went from having a 2-0 lead after the first period in their most recent game against the Chicago Blackhawks to being tied 2-2 and giving up three unanswered goals on their way to a 6-3 defeat. Likewise, the Kraken went from being down 3-0 going into the third period to forcing the game into overtime and stealing a point.
With two teams that are this inconsistent, there is no telling what could happen tonight. We could get another high-scoring matchup with tons of goals like two weeks ago, or both teams could come up empty.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Nick Ritchie - Ritchie had a goal against the Bruins and has four goals and two assists in seven games with the Coyotes. He’s not the most consistent player for the Coyotes yet, but he seems to be finding his role with the Desert Dogs.
Ottawa: Connor Brown - Brown had a short-handed goal against the Chicago Blackhawks, giving him a three-game point streak. He had an assist the last time the Coyotes and Senators met.
Arizona: Jakob Chychrun (lower body), Christian Fischer (questionable, upper body), 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)
Ottawa: Matt Murray (undisclosed), Chris Tierney (upper body), Blake Batherson (ankle), Shane Pinto (shoulder)
Tonight’s game will be an early start for Arizona fans, with a 4:30 pm puck drop. It will air on the NHLN, Sportsnet, Bally Sports Arizona, and 98.7 FM.