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Coyotes Game 67 Preview: Coyotes return home to host the Sharks

The Arizona Coyotes are back home after an unsuccessful Canadian road trip and look to get back in their winning ways against the San Jose Sharks.

NHL: MAR 20 Coyotes at Sharks Photo by Matt Cohen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Game Preview

The Arizona Coyotes started the month of March with a four-game win streak that saw them score 24 goals in five games. However, going into their final game in the month, they are riding a six-game losing streak where they managed to score only nine goals.

Not much is going right for the Coyotes right now. They are giving up way too many goals, and their offense has all but dried up. They aren’t getting shut out, but they have struggled to get the ever-important third goal since the middle of the month.

Unfortunately, things won’t be getting any easier on that end. Crouse left Monday’s game early after blocking a shot, and the news is not good. Along with registering the most time on the penalty kill among forwards, Crouse has been a big part of the Coyotes’ offense this season. Crouse has a career-high 20 goals, second on the team behind only Clayton Keller.

Crouse is just one of many Coyotes who are injured, and it has provided plenty of opportunities for younger players to step up. Jan Jeník played in his fourth game of the season, and with Crouse out long-term, he may have a chance to show what he can do in the NHL.

If Jeník can find his footing, he will join the likes of Michael Carcone, Matias Maccelli, and Dysin Mayo, who started the season with the Tuscon Roadrunners but have moved up to the big club. The Coyotes may be in the first year of their rebuild, but for many players, this is an opportunity to show that they deserve a roster spot next season.

Arizona goes from facing one of the top teams in the Pacific Division to hosting one of the bottom teams. The Sharks are sixth in the Pacific, and with 66 points in 65 games, they are one point ahead of the seventh-place Anaheim Ducks, having played in two fewer games.

After beating the Coyotes last Sunday, the Coyotes have had a good week. They were 2-1-0 in their three games last week, beating the Calgary Flames 4-3 and the Ducks 4-1 while falling 5-2 to the Oilers.

Like the Coyotes earlier this month, the Sharks are currently getting a lot more offense than you would expect. San Jose has been scoring at a rate of 2.63 goals per game this season yet has four goals in three of their last four games. San Jose probably isn’t going to continue to score four goals a game for the rest of the season, but that doesn’t mean it will end tonight.

The Coyotes have not played well lately, and they haven’t had much time to rest. The losing streak will need to end eventually, but things seem stacked against the Desert Dogs for what should be a winnable game tonight.

Players to Watch

Arizona: Clayton Keller - In scoring the Coyotes’ lone goal on Monday night, Keller notched his 28th goal of the season. He has already set a career-high in goals and is two points away from matching his freshman-year high of 65 points.

San Jose: Timo Meier - Meier had a hat trick in the Sharks’ last game and leads the team with 30 goals and 65 points. He had a goal the last time the Coyotes and Sharks played.

Injuries

Arizona: Lawson Crouse (hand), Christian Fischer (lower body), Jack McBain (ankle), J.J. Moser (upper body), Jakob Chychrun (lower body), Antoine Roussel (lower body), Liam O’Brien (upper body), Andrew Ladd (lower body), Dmitrij Jaškin (lower body), Conor Timmins (knee)

San Jose: Jonah Gadjovich (questionable, undisclosed), Jonathan Dahlen (questionable, upper body), Logan Couture (questionable, upper body), Matt Nieto (questionable, undisclosed), Adin Hill (lower body), Nikolai Knyzhov (lower body), Mario Ferraro (leg), Kevin Labanc (upper body)

Puck Drop

Tonight’s game will start at 7:00 pm Arizona time and will air on Bally Sports Arizona Extra and 620 AM.

If you are interested in placing a bet on tonight’s game, Betway is a great place to do it. The Coyotes are the underdogs again tonight, which has been true for almost every game this season. Please gamble responsibly.