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Coyotes Game 81 Preview: Coyotes play the Stars in penultimate game of the season

The Arizona Coyotes end their final road trip tonight against the Dallas Stars.

Dallas Stars v Arizona Coyotes Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Game Preview

The Arizona Coyotes will be playing in their last back-to-back of the season and in the second to last game of the 2021-22 season. Last night they pulled out a surprise win over the Minnesota Wild, and tonight they face the Dallas Stars in their final road game.

Arizona was not the favorite to win last night, and they did not play a perfect game. But they got solid goaltending, a stellar penalty kill, and a balanced offense that powered them over the Wild.

The Coyotes mostly got goals from veterans last night, with Anton Strålman, Antoine Roussell, Travis Boyd, and Phil Kessel all lighting the lamp. Still, the younger players were involved as well. Barrett Hayton and Nick Schmaltz had two assists, and Jack McBain recorded his first NHL goal. If McBain wanted a chance to jump in and show what he can do, he is getting that with the Coyotes, and it was great to see him rewarded with his first career goal.

Like the Coyotes, the Stars played last night when they hosted Vegas Golden Knights. It was a tight game that required two comebacks, but the Stars walked away with a 3-2 shootout win over the Golen Knights.

It was the second straight win for the Dallas Stars, who dropped all three games of a Western Canadian road trip last week. Dallas is currently neck and neck with the Nashville Predators in a race to the postseason, and tonight’s game could affect seeding.

Dallas is a far from a perfect team this season, but they have been getting a few excellent performances pushing them over the top. Jason Robertson (40) and Roope Hintz (37) are having career years, and Joe Pavelski is having his first 70+ point season since the 2015-16 season.

Unlike the Coyotes, who are missing several key players, the Wild are relatively healthy. Unfortunately, their lone injured player is goaltender Braden Holtby.

Goaltenders Jake Oettinger and the newly acquired Scott Wedgewood have been good and could make for an exciting tandem in the playoffs. Oettinger got the start last night, which means the Coyotes will probably face their old friend Scott Wedgewood tonight.

Players to Watch

Arizona: Shayne Gostisbehere - Ghost had his fourth three-assist game last night, ending a six-game pointless streak. He has a goal and an assist against the Stars this season.

Dallas: Jason Robertson - Robertson scored his 39th and 40th goals in the Stars’ last game, tying the game twice for the Stars. Robertson has a goal and two assists against the Coyotes this season.

Injuries

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

Dallas: Braden Holtby (lower body)

Puck Drop

Tonight’s penultimate game will be at 5:30 pm Arizona time in Dallas. It will air on Bally Sports Arizona Extra with the radio broadcast at ArizonaSports.com.