Hopefully, the team was conserving their energy last night for tonight’s game, which would frankly explain a lot. The Ottawa Senators completely outworked the Coyotes, but the Yotes managed to capitalize on their chances and walk away with a 5-3 win.
The Coyotes have been hot lately, but it would be a mistake to say they have been playing especially well. They have their moments, and their offense is much better, but as last night showed they still have a long way to go.
Arizona has been doing a good job finishing their chances, and going hard to the net, but they are still having problems breaking out of the zone. Thankfully, they have been getting solid goaltending from Scott Wedgewood and Karel Vejmelka, so occasionally they can weather those storms, but it’s far from a guarantee.
Wedgewood got the tap last night, which makes it likely that Karel Vejmelka will get the start today. Head Coach André Tourigny has shown a tendency to rest goalies for back-to-backs. Vejmelka last played on Saturday against the Boston Bruins where he made 37 saves on 40 shots.
The Montréal Canadiens also come into tonight’s game with momentum. They come in riding a two-game point streak with a 4-3 overtime win over the Philadelphia Flyers and a 4-3 shootout loss to the Seattle Kraken. And while the Coyotes have been hot in March, the Canadiens had a five-game win streak to end February.
But that five-game win streak hasn’t done much to help the Canadiens climb the standings. Montréal is currently dead last in the NHL, with just 40 points in 59 games.
It’s not hard to see why the Canadiens aren’t winning this season. Montréal is dead last in goals scored and has given up more goals than anyone else. In addition, their power play and penalty kill are near the bottom of the league, although they are still better than the Coyotes.
These two teams last met in January and saw the Coyotes walk away with a 5-2 win. The game was dominated by the top line of Travis Boyd, Clayton Keller, and Nick Schmaltz, who all scored goals in the winning effort. The Desert Dogs have been on a roll lately sweeping Eastern Conference, and they have the perfect opportunity for back-to-back brooms tonight.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Lawson Crouse - Crouse had a hat-trick last night and has a career-high 18 goals on the season.
Montréal: Nick Suzuki - Suzuki had two goals in the Canadiens’ last game and has a team-leading 16 goals on the season. In his previous five games, he has five goals and four assists.
Arizona: Christian Fischer (questionable, upper body), Jakob Chychrun (lower 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)
Montréal: Ryan Poehling (questionable, upper body), Artturi Lehkonen (questionable, upper body), Carey Price (knee), Kale Clague (undisclosed), Andrew Hammond (lower body), Tyler Pitlick (personal), David Savard (ankle), Christian Dvorak (upper body), Jonathan Drouin (wrist), Jake Allen (lower body)
Tonight’s game will be at 4:00 pm Arizona time and will air on Bally Sports Arizona Xtra and 620 AM.