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Coyotes Game 59 Preview: Coyotes look to split series against the Leafs

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Game Preview

The Arizona Coyotes can not catch a break. The losing streak continued on Tuesday with a 4-2 loss to the Montréal Canadiens, and now they are set to play the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators in a back-to-back.

Tuesday’s matchup was the 13th straight loss for the Desert Dogs, and it was another heart-breaker. The Canadiens scored the first two goals, and after that, the Coyotes came close to tying it up a few times. But despite keeping it close, the Coyotes couldn’t find the equalizer, leading to an empty-net goal and a Montréal win. 

Tuesday was the type of game where you really want to have Clayton Keller. Unfortunately, Keller missed the game after sustaining an upper-body injury against the Winnipeg Jets and is still day-to-day. It is unclear if he will be ready to play tonight. 

The Maple Leafs have played three games since beating the Coyotes last week and are 2-1-0. They finished their road trip with wins over the Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche, only to return home and fall 6-2 to the Golden Knights.

If the Coyotes want to have any chance at splitting the series, they will need to stay out of the box. The Coyotes took four penalties in the first period against the Maple Leafs, one of which was a double minor for high-sticking. And it should come as no surprise that the first period ended with a 3-0 Maple Leafs after scoring two power play goals.

It may have been a different game if that first period had gone differently. But the Coyotes had dug themselves a hole and couldn’t dig themselves out of it. It is a problem we have seen over and over again throughout this season, including during this disastrous losing streak.

The Coyotes may play tomorrow, but they need to leave it all on the ice tonight. The travel time to Ottawa will be minimal, and the Coyotes can’t afford to go easy for any single game until the losing streak ends. 

Players to Watch

Arizona: Nick Bjugstad – Bjugstad scored his 13th goal of the season against the Canadiens and has three points in his last four games. The Coyotes desperately need their veterans to step up, and hopefully, Bjugstad can do what they can to lead the team to victory.

Toronto: William Nylander – After assisting on one of Toronto’s two goals against the Golden Knights, Nylander comes into tonight’s match riding an eight-game point streak. He had two goals against the Coyotes last week.


Arizona: Travis Boyd (pectoral), Clayton Keller (upper body)

Toronto: Calle Järnkrok (knuckle), John Klingberg (hip), Timothy Lijegren (undisclosed), Matt Murray (hip), Jake Muzzin (cervical injury), Conor Timmins (mononucleosis), Joseph Woll (high ankle)

Puck Drop

Today’s game will be in Toronto with a 5:00 p.m. start in Arizona. It will air on Scripps.

Talking Points