The Arizona Coyotes are back on the road for another back-to-back. The Coyotes will head to Dallas to face the Stars tonight before flying back home to host the Vegas Golden Knights and debut their new third jerseys on Sunday.
The Coyotes have been consistently inconsistent as of late. They didn’t look perfect against the Detroit Red Wings earlier this week, but they managed to get it done. But when things came to the Washington Capitals on Thursday, they were shut out by Darcy Kuemper and fell 4-0.
Everything that could have gone wrong for the Coyotes did in their last matchup. They gave up an early goal and a late power play goal and failed to convert on their own power plays. Arizona has struggled to score lately, and Thursday was no exception.
Don’t let the win against the Red Wings fool you, the Arizona Coyotes are in a bad stretch right now. Nevertheless, you can’t count them out completely. The Coyotes have repeatedly demonstrated that they will fight to the very end this season, just don’t expect them to have much success playing from behind.
The Stars were also involved in a 4-0 game last Thursday when they beat the Los Angeles Kings 4-0.
A lot has changed since the Coyotes and Dallas Stars last met. The Stars were the fourth team the Coyotes hosted at Mullett Arena, a game the Stars won 7-2.
That was in early November, and it has set the pace for the Stars this season. They are top of the Central Division with 61 points, although the second-place Winnipeg Jets are just two points behind with a game in hand.
The Dallas Stars score a lot of goals this season. Jason Robertson leads the team with 31 goals in 47 games, but Roope Hintz has 19, Jamie Benn has 17, and Joe Pavelski and Tyler Seguin both have 14.
And it’s not just scoring, the Stars have allowed the second-fewest goals per game this season. On average, the Stars give up 2.60 goals per game, with only the Boston Bruins giving up fewer.
Jake Oettinger has been phenomenal for the Stars. He has played 34 games and comes into tonight with a 2.26 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage. The Coyotes’ old friend Scott Wedgewood has been doing well as a backup, with a 2.97 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage.
If the Coyotes want a chance at this one, they need to start strong. Too often, the Coyotes have allowed their opponents to score first, and they always end up chasing the game. But if they let the Stars get ahead tonight, they likely aren’t going to catch them.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Nick Bjugstad - Bjugstad had a goal and an assist against the Red Wings and has been one of the Coyotes’ most consistent players 5-on-5. He had an assist the last time the Coyotes and Stars played.
Dallas: Tyler Seguin - Seguin had two goals and an assist in his last game and comes into tonight’s game with 34 points in 47 games.
Arizona: Lawson Crouse (upper body), Matias Maccelli (lower body), Liam O’Brien (upper body), Bryan Little (ear), Andrew Ladd (knee)
Dallas: Roope Hintz (questionable, upper body)
Tonight’s game will be in Dallas at 6:00 pm Arizona time and will air on Bally Sports Arizona Extra and 92.3 FM.