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Coyotes Game 66 Preview: Coyotes play rematch against the Wild

Mandatory Credit: Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports

Game Preview

The Arizona Coyotes’ road trip is off to a rough start. The Desert Dogs lost their first game of the trip, falling 7-4 to the Chicago Blackhawks. 

It was a disappointing loss for the Coyotes, who had an excellent start. The Coyotes led the game 1-0 after the first period thanks to a Clayton Keller goal, who then made it 2-0 just 11 seconds into the period. Unfortunately, the two-goal lead is the most dangerous for a reason, and the Coyotes seemed to take their foot off the gas, allowing the Blackhawks to surge past them.

Penalties proved to be a problem for the Coyotes again. The Blackhawks had five power play opportunities, and they converted on two of them. Both power play goals occurred in the second period and helped Chicago gain the lead after a tie game.

The Minnesota Wild went on to have two close games after two empty-net goals led to a commanding win over the Coyotes. The day after beating the Yotes, they lost 2-1 in overtime to the Colorado Avalanche, then won 4-3 in overtime against the Nashville Predators on Sunday.

The Wild are in a tough situation. They are currently out of a playoff spot, tied for fifth in the Central Division with the St. Louis Blues and six points behind the Vegas Golden Knights, the second Wild Card team. With just 17 games left, the Wild aren’t likely to overtake Vegas, especially after the trade deadline.

Likely knowing that they were unlikely to make the post-season, the Wild didn’t go out and get a bunch of rentals. They moved on from Brandon Duhaime, Connor Dewar, and Pat Maroon primarily for picks.

At this point, it is doubtful that either team will make the playoffs. But there are still plenty of reasons for the players to give it their all, pride, their next contract, and wanting to stay on the coaches’ good side. So, despite the standings, expect both teams to show up tonight.

Players to Watch

Arizona: Clayton Keller – Keller had a goal against the Wild and two in the game against the Chicago Blackhawks. He is undeniably the Yotes’ best player right now and the team needs him to lead the way offensively.

Minnesota: Kirill Kaprizov – Kaprizov started the scoring in the last game and comes into tonight’s matchup riding a four-game point streak. He leads the Wild in goals (31) and points (70).


Arizona: Travis Boyd (pectoral), Travis Dermott (illness)

Minnesota: Sam Hentges (undisclosed), Marcus Johansson (lower body), Jared Spurgeon (various)

Puck Drop

Tonight’s game will be at 5:00 p.m. Arizona time and will air on Scripps.

Talking Points