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Coyotes Game 68 Preview: Coyotes host Devils in a chance to complete back-to-back sweeps

Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Game Preview

The Arizona Coyotes returned home from their three-game rematch road trip with one win. After losing to the Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild in the rematches, they beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-1.

The Coyotes played a tighter game, but there were still mistakes. The Red Wings had four penalties and scored their only goal with the man advantage. The Coyotes did get on the board with a short-handed goal from Logan Cooley, so maybe some penalties are okay.

What the Coyotes did very right was play well in the final period. The Coyotes had a 2-1 lead going into the final frame, and given how they had played in some previous games, it could have been a disaster. Instead, the Yotes played well, stayed out of the box, and got a goal from Nick Bjugstad midway through the period to extend their lead. Then, one empty-netter from Clayton Keller later, the Coyotes had sealed the deal, completing the sweep.

After facing off against a team that is seeing their playoff chances slip away, the Coyotes return home with another opportunity to play spoiler. The New Jersey Devils are four points out of a playoff spot, with 68 points in 66 games. They are 4-6-0 in their last ten games, although they come into tonight’s game with some momentum after beating the Dallas Stars 6-2.

Midway through the month of March, that was just the second Devils win. And while they have been playing some impressive teams like the Kings, the Rangers, the Hurricanes, and the Panthers, they also lost 4-3 to the Anaheim Ducks. 

The Devils have a few weaknesses, but goaltending is the major one. This season has seen Kaapo Kähkönen serve as the default starter, with 28 starts and 32 games played. He has a 3.75 goals-against average and a .895 save percentage during that time. 

New Jersey’s other two netminders are not fairing much better. Jake Allen (22 starts) has a 3.57 goals-against average and a .895 save percentage,  while Nico Daws (20 starts) has a 3.26 goals-against average and a .891 save percentage. 

This means the Coyotes’ game plan is simple: pepper whoever is in net with as many shots as possible. If they can do that and stay out of the box, they may be able to embrace their role as spoilers. 

Players to Watch

Arizona: Michael Carcone – Carcone scored the game-winning goal against Detroit and is just one goal shy of hitting the 20-goal plateau for the first time in his career. He comes into the game riding a two-game point streak with five points in his last six games.

New Jersey: Nico Hischier – One of three Devils players who have already hit the 20-goal plateau, Hischier had an assist in the Devils’ last game. He comes into tonight riding a four-game, six-point streak.


Arizona: Travis Boyd (pectoral), Barrett Hayton (lower body)

New Jersey: Nathan Bastian (lower body), Dougie Hamilton (pectoral), John Marino (upper body), Jonas Siegenthaler (concussion)

Puck Drop

Tonight’s game will be at Mullett Arena with a 2:00 p.m. start. It will air on Scripps.

Talking Points