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Coyotes Game 62 Preview: Coyotes face Blackhawks in battle of the bottom of the Central

Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Game Preview

The Arizona Coyotes have rediscovered what it means to win. After a disastrous 14-game losing streak that saw the Desert Dogs tumble in the standings and see any hopes of making the post-season slip away, the Coyotes are back in the win column. 

Arizona finished their road trip with back-to-back wins over the Ottawa Senators and Washington Capitals. Both games saw the Coyotes notch five goals, with a 5-3 win over the Senators and a 5-2 victory against the Washington Capitals.

With Clayton Keller sidelined with an upper-body injury, the Coyotes have needed everyone on the lineup to step up. Nine players had a point against the Capitals, while Karel Vejmelka came up big with 24 saves on 26 shots. It was a good effort all around, which should give them some momentum heading into tonight’s matchup.

Tonight will be one of the rare opportunities for the Coyotes to face someone lower in the standings. The Chicago Blackhawks have ten fewer wins than the Coyotes and 20 fewer points. And while the Coyotes have snapped their losing streaks, the Blackhawks are currently seven games into theirs.

Tonight will be the second game of a back-to-back for the Blackhawks. They were in Denver last night playing the Avalanche, a game that they lost 5-0. It was the third game in a row where they gave up five goals and the second 5-0 loss to the Avalanche of the season.

On paper, this should be an easy one for the Yotes. The Blackhawks have scored the fewest goals and are in the bottom five in goals allowed. They have the worst power play in the NHL, and their penalty kill is in the bottom ten. And because Chicago played last night and traveled, the Coyotes should be the better-rested team.

But when you combine all that, you have what seems like the recipe for the perfect trap game. The Coyotes are feeling good after snapping their losing streak and having won their last two, and they may look past the lowly Blackhawks. But the Blackhawks will do their best to win every game, and there is no way they will be looking past the Coyotes tonight.

Players to Watch

Arizona: Dylan Guenther—Guenther had a three-point afternoon against the Capitals, his second multipoint game in a row. In just 24 games, Guenther has already surpassed his goals and points totals from last season and has become one of the Coyotes’ key players, especially with Keller out.

Chicago: Connor Bedard—Bedard had an assist in the Blackhawks’ second-to-last game, his second assist in four games. After missing most of January and half of February, he returned with six points in three games but has started to slow down. 


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

Chicago: Andreas Athanasiou (lower body), Taylor Hall (knee), Connor Murphy (lower body), Luke Philip (undisclosed), Nikita Zaitsev (knee)

Puck Drop

Today’s game will be at 7:00 p.m. Arizona time and will air on Scripps.

Talking Points