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Coyotes Game 56 Preview: Coyotes play the Maple Leafs for the first time this season

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Game Preview

The Arizona Coyotes are back in action and looking to end a massive losing streak. After falling in back-to-back games against the Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers, the  Coyotes will next play the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It was a rough matchup for the Coyotes, who completely fell apart in the third period. They were up 3-2 after two periods but gave up four goals in the final frame, seeing them lose 6-3 to the Edmonton Oilers. 

The Coyotes were playing in the second game of a back-to-back with a relatively untested goaltender, so some leeway should be applied. But the Coyotes desperately need to come together to snap their losing streak, and the frustration has to be building. 

While the Coyotes are 0-9-1 in their last ten games, the Maple Leafs are 8-2-0 in their previous ten and come into tonight’s game riding a four-game win streak. This includes two wins over the St. Louis Blues, a regulation win over the Anaheim Ducks, and an overtime win over the Philadelphia Flyers.

Any other time, it would have been great that the Leafs were taking out the Coyotes’ division rivals. Unfortunately, this just means the Leafs will come into tonight’s game with a lot of momentum.

The Leafs are a better team in almost every way. Toronto has a better power play unit, they score more goals and allow fewer, and they have much better faceoff numbers. The only area where the Coyotes are the better team is that they have a slightly better penalty kill. 

Tonight will be the first of two games between these two teams in eight days. If the Coyotes don’t win tonight, they will have another chance in a week and a day on the road.

Players to Watch

Arizona: Clayton Keller – After going three games without a point, Keller bounced back with a goal and an assist against the Oilers. The Coyotes need a leader, and Keller seems the most likely to step up and lead his team to a win.

Toronto: Auston Matthews – The kid from Scottsdale has 49 goals in 53 games and comes into tonight’s match with seven goals in his last three games. He has 73 points on the season. 


Arizona: Travis Boyd (pectoral), Connor Ingram (undisclosed), Liam O’Brien (upper body), Troy Stecher (lower body)

Toronto: Calle Järnkrok (knuckle), John Klingberg (hip), William Lagesson (upper body), Matt Murray (hip), Jake Muzzin (cervical injury), Conor Timmins (mononucleosis), Joseph Woll (high ankle)

Puck Drop

Today’s game will be a late one, with an 8:00 p.m. Arizona start. It will air on Scripps.

Talking Points