The Arizona Coyotes were supposed to get worse after the trade deadline. Instead, they come into tonight’s game riding a five-game point streak, including a 5-4 win overtime win against the Minnesota Wild on Sunday.
The Coyotes struck first with a goal less than 90 seconds in and finished the first period with the score tied 2-2. But despite the strong start, it was a challenging win for the Coyotes.
The Coyotes had to prove their resilience again against the Wild. Thanks to two second-period goals, they were down 4-2 three-quarters of the way through the middle frame, but the Coyotes came back and forced overtime, which they eventually one.
Arizona didn’t do themselves any favors in what was a penalty-filled matchup. The game had three fights, and the Wild ended up with four power plays. However, the Coyotes’ managed to kill all four and scored on one of their two power play opportunities.
The Coyotes’ top line proved to be the difference-maker on Sunday. Clayton Keller had a three-point night with the game-tying and game-winning goal, and Barrett Hayton had two goals and two assists in his first four-point night. Brett Ritchie took Schmaltz’s spot while he is dealing with a lower-body injury, and he finished with a goal and two assists.
The Calgary Flames had a notoriously quiet deadline, acquiring Troy Stecher and Nick Ritchie from the Coyotes and former-Coyote Dryden Hunt. The Flames will likely miss the playoffs, so the decision to wait patiently could prove a costly error.
You shouldn’t underestimate the Flames because of their spot in the standings. They did the Coyotes a big favor with a 5-1 win over the Ottawa Senators, along with a shootout win over the Wild and a 5-4 win over the Dallas Stars.
But the Flames are also very inconsistent. They fell 3-0 to the Wild on the fourth and 3-1 to the Anaheim Ducks last Friday. Although losing to the Ducks and beating the Senators does mean that the Flames are helping the Coyotes.
Special teams played a significant role in the Flame’s last win. They started with a short-handed goal, followed by a power play goal. The Flames heavy hitters got on the board, with Elias Lindholm, Jonathan Huberdeau, and Noah Hanifin scoring along with Rasmus Andersson and Trevor Lewis.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Barrett Hayton - Hayton’s four-point night gave him eight points in his last four games. Many people thought Hayton was a bust before the season started, but he is showing what he can do as a top-line center with Keller.
Calgary: Nazem Kadri - Kadri had a two-assist night against the Senators, his second in four games. He has a goal and three assists in two games against the Coyotes this season.
Arizona: Nick Schmaltz (questionable, lower body), Christian Fischer (questionable, lower body), Jakub Voráček (concussion), Shea Weber (ankle), Bryan Little (ear), Andrew Ladd (knee)
Calgary: Michael Stone (lower body), Oliver Kylington (personal)
Tonight’s game will be at Mullett Arena with a 7:00 pm start time. The matchup will air on Bally Sports Arizona Extra, SN360, SN1, and ESPN 620AM.