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Coyotes Game 71 Preview: Coyotes return home to host the Canucks

The Arizona Coyotes are back from their two-game road trip and will host the Vancouver Canucks.

Arizona Coyotes v Vancouver Canucks

Game Preview

The Arizona Coyotes are back home from a road trip, and the results are mixed. The Coyotes beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in overtime on Sunday and dropped their game 5-1 to the St. Louis Blues on Monday.

Arizona played well enough in the first period, but things quickly fell apart as the game continued. They suffered another second-period collapse, and the offense couldn’t make up the difference after giving up four in the middle frame.

We have seen the Coyotes fall behind a lot this season. For whatever reason, the Coyotes have problems in the second period and tend to give up multiple goals in a short amount of time. Unfortunately, that will probably worsen, especially with several of the Coyotes’ best players sidelined with injuries until the end of the season.

Injuries and the trade deadline allow players to step up and show what they can do. The Coyotes have several players who started the season with the Tucson Roadrunners, and while there have been growing pains, we have also seen several players step up.

Tonight looks to be the Coyotes’ debut for goaltender Harri Säteri. Säteri was claimed off waivers by the Desert Dogs and has had an interesting journey back to the NHL. Goaltending has been a question mark for the Coyotes since The Great Sell-Off, and tonight presents an opportunity for Säteri to show what he can do in the NHL.

The Vancouver Canucks have had two games in April, losing 3-2 in overtime at home on Sunday and winning on the road last night 5-1.

Vancouver is an interesting team this season. They seemed to think they would be big this season, hence the acquisition of Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Conor Garland, but they have not had a lot of success. They did a fair amount of selling at the trade deadline, with their most significant acquisitions being Travis Dermott and claiming former-Coyote Brad Richardson off waivers.

The Canucks probably made the right move by staying patient and selling because they do not seem likely to make the playoffs. They are six points behind the Vegas Golden Knights for the final Wild Card spot, and Vegas has played only one more game. So Vancouver may have beaten them last night, but they probably won’t beat them to the post-season.

Tonight will be a rare occasion for the Desert Dogs, as they will be playing a team with a worse penalty kill than them. Vancouver is one of the two worse teams than the Coyotes when short-handed, with the other being the Detroit Red Wings. We have seen what a difference a power play goal can make, and there is no better time to get the Coyotes’ power play going.

Players to Watch

Arizona: Nick Schmaltz - Schmaltz had the Coyotes’ lone goal in their last matchup against the St. Louis Blues, his 21st of the season. The Coyotes do not have a lot of offensive threats left, making Schmaltz’s role with the team much bigger moving forward.

Vancouver: Elias Pettersson - The 23-year-old center had two goals and two assists in the Canucks last game, his third two-goal game of his past five games. Pettersson is currently third on the Canucks in goals scored.

Injuries

Arizona: Andrew Ladd (questionable, lower body), 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)

Vancouver: Quinn Hughes (questionable, illness), Tucker Poolman (questionable, head), Brock Boeser (arm), Matthew Highmore (upper body), Nils Hoglander (groin), Michael Ferland (concussion), Brandon Sutter (COVID-19) Brady Keeper (leg)

Puck Drop

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