The Arizona Coyotes’ five-game homestand is almost over, and they have a chance to end it on a high note. After beating the Boston Bruins in overtime, the Yotes can get their second win tonight against the Calgary Flames.
It was far from a dominant performance, but the Coyotes just keeping up with the top team of the Atlantic Division is a good step. They kept the score within one goal and even briefly had a lead in the third period.
Arizona got a balanced offense, with three lines lighting the lamp. Clayton Keller, Matias Maccelli, and newcomer Dylan Guenther all scored for the Coyotes, and they are three players that the Coyotes need to keep going if they want to make the post-season.
But equally important as the Coyotes’ offense was their goaltending. Giving up three goals typically isn’t a great performance, but Connor Ingram made some monster saves to keep the Coyotes in the game and allow them to win in overtime. They aren’t going to face a team with the same offensive capabilities as the Bruins tonight, but the Coyotes still need to be able to rely on solid goaltending moving forward for the rest of the season.
After playing four of the best teams in the NHL, the Coyotes will play the number six team in the Pacific Division tonight. But that isn’t to say the Flames should be taken lightly; they are 6-4-0 in their last ten games and coming off a 6-3 win over the Ottawa Senators.
It was a big night for the Flames’ key players. The Flames’ top three players (Blake Coleman, Nazem Kadri, and Yegor Sharangovich) all had a two-point night, with Coleman and Sharangovich scoring two goals and Kadri recording two assists. Netminder Jacob Markstrom looked great with 30 saves on 33 shots, almost matching his .908 save percentage this season.
The Coyotes and Flames are relatively equal this season. The Coyotes have a much better power play, while Calgary has a top-ten power penalty kill. Calgary scores more goals on average (3.10 vs 2.97), while the Coyotes allow fewer goals (3.00 vs 3.17).
Tonight will be the first of three meetings between the Coyotes and Flames this season, with their second meeting coming next Tuesday. Tonight will set the pace for the series and could influence what happens next week and late in April.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Clayton Keller – Clayton Keller had a goal and an assist against the Bruins and has three points in his last two games. The Coyotes need their All-Star to play his best hockey in the latter half of the season.
Calgary: Blake Coleman – Coleman had a two-goal night against the Senators and has five points in his last games. He leads the Flames with 17 goals in 41 games.
Arizona: Travis Boyd (pectoral), Barrett Hayton (upper body), Vladislav Kolyachonok (lower body)
Calgary: Dennis Gilbert (upper body), Oliver Kylington (personal)
Tonight’s game will be in Mullett Arena and will start at 7:00 p.m. Arizona time. It will air on Scripps.