The Arizona Coyotes is coming to an end, and it can’t come quick enough. The Desert Dogs dropped their third straight game last Saturday against the Vegas Golden Knights and gave up five-plus goals for the fourth time this month.
Special teams played a part in the Coyotes’ loss, but not as big a factor. They only had one power play, which was unsuccessful, but they did kill three penalties. It didn’t keep the score tighter, but it didn’t make things worse.
Injuries may have decimated the Coyotes, but they will get some reinforcements tonight. Yesterday, the Coyotes signed NCAA forward Nathan Smith to a two-year deal, and he should make his debut tonight. Don’t expect the Coyotes’ newest forward to have an immediate impact, though, it can take time to leap from college hockey to professional sports.
The New Jersey Devils haven’t done much since they lost 4-1 to the Coyotes earlier this year. They are currently at the bottom of the Metro Division, seven points ahead of the Coyotes if you are watching the lottery standings.
New Jersey is on its second-to-last road trip of the season, and so far, things have gone well. They started with a 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars, snapping a five-game losing streak.
The Devils showed remarkable resilience in their win, coming back from a 1-0 goal deficit to score three unanswered goals in the third period.
Like the Coyotes, the Devils will be missing some of their best players. Leading goal-scorer Jack Hughes and goaltenders Mackenzie Blackwood and Jonathan Bernier are all out.
Nico Daws played in the Devils’ last win after making 28 saves on 29 shots. The Munich native is in his first year with the big club after being drafted 84th overall in the third round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Barrett Hayton - Hayton scored the Yotes’ lone goal against the Golden Knights, his eighth of the season. He missed the last time the Coyotes and Devils played each other.
New Jersey: Nico Hischier - Hischier hit the 20-goal mark for the second time in his career and has a career-high 54 points in 63 games. He scored a goal the last time the Coyotes and Devils met back in January.
Arizona: Clayton Keller (leg), 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), Dmitrij Jaškin (lower body), Conor Timmins (knee)
New Jersey: Nathan Bastian (questionable, undisclosed), Miles Wood (hip), Jonas Siegenthaler (hand), Jimmy Vesey (leg), Jack Hughes (knee), Mackenzie Blackwood (heel), Jonathan Bernier (hip)
Tonight’s game will be at Gila River Arena with a 7:00 pm start time. It will air on Bally Sports Arizona Extra and 620 AM.