Last night, the Arizona Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks met in a tank battle. The General Managers may be racing to the bottom, but don’t tell that to players, as the Coyotes walked away with a 4-1 win over the Blackhawks.
The Coyotes took the lead midway through the opening period and did not let up for the rest of the game. Barrett Hayton doubled their score with 83 seconds left in the first, and then Jack McBain and Nick Schmaltz scored in the second and third. It was a good team effort that saw eight Coyotes register points.
Also solid was goaltender Karel Vejmelka, who stopped 23 of 24 shots to get his 16th win of the season. Unfortunately, he couldn’t get the shutout, but Veggie is proving solid, and the Desert Dogs need Connor Ingram to match that play tonight.
The Coyotes will be playing a Central Division opponent for the second straight game. But unlike last night when they played the worst team in the division, tonight they are playing the best, the Dallas Stars.
Dallas isn’t the winningest team in the division, but they have the most loser points. The Stars have lost 13 games in overtime or the shootout, tying them for the most in the league with the Calgary Flames.
Dallas comes into tonight’s game riding a two-game point streak. They fell 5-4 to the Vancouver Canucks on Monday, and they beat the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 in the shootout last Saturday. They are 3-3-4 in their previous ten games, which isn’t what you would expect from the top team.
But that doesn’t mean the Coyotes should think tonight will be an easy matchup. The Coyotes are playing in the second game of a back-to-back, while the Stars are playing in the first. The Stars will play the Blackhawks tomorrow, so don’t expect them to conserve their energy tonight.
The Stars also score a lot more goals than the Desert Dogs, with 31 more goals notched despite the teams playing the same number of games.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Clayton Keller - Keller had two assists last night and comes into tonight’s game riding a five-game point streak. He is just eight assists shy of matching his previous career high of 42 and seven points shy of matching his career high.
Dallas: Jamie Benn - Benn had a goal and an assist in the Stars’ last game, his third straight two-point night. He has scored at least a goal in both of the Stars’ games against the Coyotes this season.
Arizona: Shea Weber (ankle), Josh Brown (questionable, upper body), Bryan Little (ear), Andrew Ladd (knee)
Dallas: Luke Glendening (lower body), Joel Kiviranta (lower body)
Arizona: Jakob Chychrun, Nick Bjugstad
Tonight’s game will be in Dallas with a 6:30 pm start time. It will air on Bally Sports Arizona Extra and 98.7 FM.