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Coyotes Game 80 Preview: Coyotes set to go Wild in Minnesota

Can the Coyotes keep the momentum going from nearly beating the Blues or will they let the Wild sweep the series?

Arizona Coyotes v Minnesota Wild Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images

Game Preview

The Arizona Coyotes are counting down the games until the end of the season and the draft lottery schedule for May 10th. Before the infamous breakup day comes, they still have several Stanley Cup contenders to face off against including tonight’s opponent the Minnesota Wild.

The Coyotes and Wild haven’t faced each other since November and both teams look a little bit different thanks to all of the injuries. In addition to the laundry list of Coyotes’ injuries below, the Wild will also be without some key names like Matt Dumba, Jared Spurgeon and Mats Zuccarello. They will however be seeing Jordan Greenway and Marcus Foligno return to the lineup after missing multiple games.

The most interesting aspect to this game might very well be that it is essentially a meaningless game for both teams. Minnesota has already clinched their spot in the playoffs and even if they win all their remaining games, they can’t overtake the Colorado Avalanche for playoff positioning. The Coyotes are in a battle for last place with the Montreal Canadiens so the organization’s best option is to lose but players and coaches are usually too proud and competitive to willingly take the L. Which of these teams is going to be more motivated to beat the other? Back in November the Wild beat the Coyotes both games with scores of 5-2, will the Coyotes let them sweep the series? Have the Wild already taken their foot off the gas as they look to the playoffs? Are the Coyotes already planning their off-season vacations? Will the Wild be so overconfident that they underestimate the Coyotes the same way the Blues did? This game has the potential to be either really dull, or really (forgive me for doing this) Wild.

Find out tonight.

Players to Watch

Arizona: Victor Söderström– In the wake of Kalyochonok’s injury Söderström was recalled from the Tucson Roadrunners. It will be interesting to see what the 11th overall 2019 draftee has learned in his time with the AHL club.

Minnesota: Kirill Kaprizov – Kaprizov has a habit of scoring well against the Coyotes and it is his birthday.

Injuries

Arizona: Nick Ritchie (upper body), Jay Beagle (lower body), Dysin Mayo (upper body), Vladislav Kolyachonok (upper body) Clayton Keller (leg), Lawson Crouse (hand), Christian Fischer (lower body), Jakob Chychrun (ankle), Liam O’Brien (upper body), Dmitrij Jaškin (lower body), Conor Timmins (knee)

Minnesota:

Matt Dumba (upper body), Jared Spurgeon (upper body), Mats Zuccarello (lower body)

Puck Drop

Tonight’s game will be an early start with puck drop at 5:00 pm Arizona time. It will air on Bally Sports Arizona Coyotes Channel and on the radio at the Arizona Sports App.