The Arizona Coyotes snapped a losing streak before it began with a 3-2 overtime win over the Chicago Blackhawks last night. It required a second-period comeback, but the Coyotes won against a division rival.
Special teams played a huge role in the Coyotes’ comeback yesterday. Thanks to a third-period power play goal, the Blackhawks were able to tie things up, and the Yotes scored with the man advantage in overtime. Unfortunately, the Coyotes’ special teams weren’t great when the team was healthy, and they have lost some key pieces to both their penalty kill and their power play to injuries. Arizona’s best chance is to stay out of the box and not give their opponents any easy opportunities.
Arizona is in the first year of a rebuild, and they have seen injuries take out many of their key contributors. It’s not an ideal situation, but it allows the Coyotes’ prospects to show what they can do.
We saw that last night with Michael Carcone, who recorded his second goal of the season early in the second period. Players like Carcone, Jan Jeník, and Vladislav Kolyachonok are getting opportunities now, and it is up to them to show what they can do.
Unfortunately, Clayton Keller’s absence will be felt especially hard tonight. Keller was born in Chesterfield, Missouri, and he always played his best against his hometown team. But with Keller out of the lineup, someone else will have to step up.
The Coyotes will stay in their division tonight and will face off against the St. Louis Blues for the third time this season and the first time this month. While the Coyotes have been exploring the league’s basement, the Blues have been securing their playoff spot, and with 14 games left to go, they have four points on the fourth-place Nashville Predators.
While the Coyotes are playing in the second game of a back-to-back tonight, the Blues will be coming into the game with some momentum after a back-to-back Friday and Saturday. St. Louis beat the Calgary Flames in the second game after falling 6-5 in overtime to the Edmonton Oilers on Friday. They beat the Vancouver Canucks twice earlier that week, giving St. Louis a four-game point streak.
St. Louis has been splitting their starts fairly evenly, but Ville Husso will get the tap tonight for the Blues. Husso is playing in his second NHL season, and with 32 games played, he has a 2.45 goals-against average, and a .922 save percentage. He hasn’t played the Coyotes this season yet, but he did play against the Yotes twice last year, winning one game and dropping the other.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Shayne Gostisbehere - Ghost scored his 11th goal in overtime and recorded his 32nd point on Travis Boyd’s goal. He has impressed in his first season with the Coyotes, and with injuries, the team is only going to continue to rely on him.
St. Louis: Brandon Saad - Saad had a goal and an assist in the Blue’s last game, his 20th goal of the season and 21st assist. He is coming into tonight’s game riding a four-game point streak.
Arizona: Lawson Crouse (hand), Christian Fischer (lower body), Jack McBain (ankle), J.J. Moser (upper body), Jakob Chychrun (lower body), Clayton Keller (leg), Antoine Roussel (lower body), Liam O’Brien (upper body), Dmitrij Jaškin (lower body), Conor Timmins (knee)
St. Louis: Logan Brown (questionable, illness), Jordan Kyrou (questionable, illness), Torey Krug (upper body), Tyler Bozak (lower body), Scott Perunovich (wrist)
Tonight’s game will be at 5:00 pm Arizona time and will air on Bally Sports Arizona Extra and 98.7 FM.