Don’t look now, but the Arizona Coyotes are on a point streak. They took the New Jersey Devils to overtime on Sunday, beat the St. Louis Blues 6-2 on Tuesday, and beat the Nashville Predators on Thursday 4-1. But that was all at home, tonight, the Coyotes will be on the road.
The Coyotes kept things tight against the Predators. It was a one-goal game for most of the time, with Brett Ritchie scoring his first as a Coyote just under nine minutes into regulation. But the Coyote’s offense exploded in the third period, with Barrett Hayton, Jack McBain, and Nick Schmaltz all tallying goals.
But it wasn’t just the offense goaltender Ivan Prosvetov looked solid in net in his first match of the season. Historically, Prosvetov has been thrown to the wolves when it comes to NHL opponents but not on Thursday. That’s not to say it was a cakewalk, Prosvetov made 39 saves on 40 shots, including nine saves on the power play.
If Arizona is going to tank its lottery odds by winning, it is good that future pieces are the ones who are contributing. Nick Schmaltz, Clayton Keller, Jack McBain, Barrett Hayton, Christian Fischer, Matias Maccelli, Lawson Crouse, and J.J. Moser all recorded points, and they all will be with the team for the foreseeable future.
Fans shouldn’t be too excited about the wins. The Blues and Predators were major sellers leading up to the deadline, but the Avalanche were buyers.
Out are Dryden Hunt, Jacob MacDonald, Martin Kaut, and Andreas Englund, and in are Lars Eller, Jack Johnson, Matt Nieto, Ryan Merkley, and Denis Malgin. These aren’t major moves, but they should help solidify the Avalanche and give them a few veterans.
Unfortunately, the Avalanche haven’t seen much response from the moves. They are 1-2-1 in their last four games, with their lone win coming against the San Jose Sharks.
The win over the Sharks should make the Coyotes nervous. The Coyotes have beaten teams that are better than them throughout the season, but usually, it is because their opponents did not take them seriously. But if the Avalanche are taking bottom teams seriously, as their 6-0 win over the Sharks suggests, it will be difficult for the Coyotes to take them by surprise.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Clayton Keller - Keller had two assists in the Coyotes’ last game and has six points in his previous three games. He has tied his career-high 65 points and will set a new high with every point until the end of the season.
Colorado: Nathan MacKinnon - MacKinnon comes into tonight’s game riding a three-game goal streak, with four points over that period.
Arizona: Jakub Voráček (concussion), Shea Weber (ankle), Bryan Little (ear), Andrew Ladd (knee)
Colorado: Kurtis MacDermid (questionable, lower body), Josh Manson (lower body), Pavel Francouz (lower body), Gabriel Landeskog (knee), Erik Johnson (ankle), Darren Helm (lower body)
Tonight’s game will be in Colorado with a 4:00 pm start time. It will air on Bally Sports Arizona and ESPN 620AM.