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Coyotes Game 43 Preview: Coyotes look to end losing streak against the Jets

The Arizona Coyotes are facing the Winnipeg Jets in the second game of a back-to-back.

Winnipeg Jets v Arizona Coyotes Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images

Game Preview

The Arizona Coyotes may have dropped their eighth straight game, but they don’t have to wallow. They are back in action tonight, facing off against another Central Division team, the Winnipeg Jets.

Arizona fell 2-1 to the Minnesota Wild last night in another low-scoring affair. Mats Zuccarello started the scoring in the second period with a power play goal, and Frederick Gaudreau followed that up with another not long after the Wild’s power play expired.

The Coyotes only took two penalties in last night’s matchup, which, considering they are one of the most penalized teams in the NHL, is good, but they still cost them the match. And the Desert Dogs couldn’t get anything going with their single power play of the game.

Arizona did not go down without a fight despite going down 2-0 in the second. Crouse got them within one goal early in the final frame, but the Yotes couldn’t get the equalizer. And unless you are getting perfect goaltending, winning a game with only one goal is difficult.

After Connor Ingram started last night, the Coyotes should be going with Karel Vejmelka tonight against the Jets. Vejmelka has struggled a bit, although he is far from the only one, and it will be up to the team in front of him to give him support and get him a win.

The Jets have come a long way since beating the Coyotes 3-2 in overtime at the Mullett Arena. They currently have 57 points in 43 games, the same as the Dallas Stars, with one fewer game played. They have won their last two and are 7-3-0 in their previous ten.

It’s not hard to see why the Jets are thriving this season. They are getting solid offense from key veterans while still having one of the best goaltenders in the NHL.

Winnipeg already has two players who have scored over 20 goals, Kyle Connor and Mark Scheifele, and Pierre-Luc Dubois is right on the doorstep with 19. Also having a great season is defenseman Josh Morrissey, who is third among defensemen with 47 points behind Rasmus Dahlin and Erik Karlsson.

And you can’t talk about the Jets without talking about goaltender Connor Hellebuyck. The 2020 Vezina Trophy winner has a 2.41 goals-against average in 32 games and comes in with a monster .925 save percentage.

Players to Watch

Arizona: Lawson Crouse - Crouse scored his 16th goal last night, giving him goals in back-to-back games. The 25-year-old is having a monster season, and while offense from the Coyotes’ top line seems to have dried up, the Yotes will be relying on Crouse a lot more.

Winnipeg: Blake Wheeler - Wheeler had a goal and an assist in the Jets’ last game against the Pittsburgh Penguins and scored the game-winner in the Coyotes and Jets’ first matchup.

Injuries

Arizona: Matias Maccelli (lower body), Liam O’Brien (upper body), Bryan Little (ear), Andrew Ladd (knee)

Winnipeg: Morgan Barron (questionable, illness), David Gustafsson (upper body), Logan Stanley (lower body), Mason Appleton (wrist)

Puck Drop

Tonight’s game will be at 5:00 pm Arizona time and will air on the NHL Network, Bally Sports Arizona, and 98.7 FM.