After a successful nine-game point streak, the Arizona Coyotes have fallen back to Earth. They have given up six goals in each of their last two games, losing 6-3 to the Calgary Flames last Wednesday and 6-2 to the Nashville Predators on Sunday.
Sunday’s game had a good start, with Shayne Gostisbehere scoring a short-handed goal just 5 minutes and 55 seconds into the matchup, but things quickly went downhill. Yakov Trenin scored a few minutes later, and after Matt Duchene made it 2-1 midway through the first, the Predators maintained their lead for the rest of the game.
The Coyotes did manage to keep things close for the first two periods, but things quickly fell apart for the Desert Dogs in the third. The Predators took control with an early goal and followed that up with two power play goals to give the Predators a commanding lead.
The short-handed goal was the only good thing about the Coyotes’ special teams. Their penalty kill went two for three and failed to score on any of their five power play opportunities.
The Flames and the Predators are in an awkward situation right now. While both teams are likely to miss the playoffs, both were built to be competitive, which isn’t something that you can just turn off. That isn’t the case for tonight’s opponent. Everyone knew the Blackhawks would be bad from the start of the season.
The Coyotes and Blackhawks are in a race to the bottom, and Chicago has already made the first move. Yesterday they sent Jake McCabe and Sam Lafferty, along with fifth-round picks in the 2024 and 2025 drafts to Toronto in exchange for Joey Anderson, Pavel Gogolev, a 2025 first-round pick, and a 2026 second-round pick. It’s unlikely this will be the Blackhawks’ last move, as they have started to pick up a lot of picks over the next four drafts.
The Chicago Blackhawks played late last night, falling 4-2 to the Anaheim Ducks. A three-point game would have been better for the Coyotes, but giving the Ducks two points should help every tanking team.
Chicago struck first with a power play goal, but the Ducks took the lead before the first period ended with two goals, including one on the power play. The Blackhawks tied things up with their second power play goal from Andreas Athanasiou, but two more Ducks goals gave them the win.
Based on both teams’ last matchups, special teams could prove to be the difference-maker tonight. However, neither team has a particularly good power play or penalty kill, so who knows how things will go tonight.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Nick Schmaltz - Schmaltz had a goal and an assist against the Predators and comes into tonight’s game riding a three-game goal streak. His solid play is garnering some attention, and he may be a trade candidate this week.
Chicago: Max Domi - The former Coyote had two primary assists last night and comes into tonight’s game riding a seven-game point streak. He had an assist the first time the Coyotes and Blackhawks played but was kept off the score sheet last time.
Arizona: Josh Brown (questionable, upper body), Shea Weber (ankle), Bryan Little (ear), Andrew Ladd (knee)
Chicago: Alex Stalock (probable, head), Philipp Kurashev (questionable, illness), Resse Johnson (concussion), Jarred Tinordi (lower body), Mackenzie Entwistle (wrist), Jonathan Toews (illness)
Arizona: Jakob Chychrun
Chicago: Patrick Kane
Tonight’s game will be at Mullett Arena with a 7:00 pm start time. It will air on Bally Sports Arizona and 98.7 FM.