Nobody expected the Coyotes to win their last game against the Avalanche, but tonight against the Ducks is a different story.
Arizona is going to need to forget everything that happened on Wednesday and start fresh tonight. The next four games are going to be huge, and that all starts tonight against the Ducks.
These two teams met two weeks ago, with the Coyotes getting three of four possible points with a 3-2 overtime loss and a 5-1 win. Since then, the Ducks have done the Coyotes a big favor, beating the St. Louis Blues twice. One of those wins was in overtime, and they lost twice to the Minnesota Wild, so they could still be doing more to help the Desert Dogs, but keeping the Blues down is still a good thing.
Like the Coyotes, Anaheim knows what it is like to get beaten by the Avalanche. Both teams’ last games were against the Avalanche, with the Ducks losing their matchup 5-2.
Special teams will likely be the deciding matchup in tonight’s game as they were in the previous games.
The Ducks beat the Coyotes in overtime, with Adam Henrique scoring 47 seconds into OT with a power play goal. And while Derick Brassard’s power play goal in the Coyotes’ last win over the Ducks wasn’t the game-winner, that honor went to Jakob Chychrun’s unassisted eighth goal of the season, but it gave the Coyotes that much-needed third goal.
Goaltending may prove to be a deciding factor over the next two games.
John Gibson is currently listed as questionable, meaning he could return either tonight or on Sunday. Gibson is a phenomenal goaltender who can steal wins, especially against the Coyotes.
On the other side of the ice, the Coyotes are currently playing Adin Hill and Ivan Prosvetov, two players who spent most of last season with the Tucson Roadrunners. Both have been good, with the possible exception of Hill’s early pull against the Avalanche. But that was more the team in front of him, and Prosvetov looked good seeing NHL for the first time in his career.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Conor Garland – In addition to a helmet to the face, Garland got his 10th of the season in the Coyotes’ last game. In six games against the Ducks this season, Garland has two goals and five assists, and only had one game where he didn’t register a point.
Anaheim: Troy Terry – Terry already has a career-high seven goals this season, with his most recent goal coming in the Ducks’ last game against the Avalanche. The last time these two teams met he had two assists over the two games.
Arizona: Tyler Pitlick (lower body), Antti Raanta (undisclosed), Niklas Hjalmarsson (upper body), Darcy Kuemper (lower body)
Anaheim: John Gibson (questionable, upper body), Rickard Rakell (questionable, upper body), Sam Steel (undisclosed), Alexander Volkov (COVID-19 protocol), Sonny Milano (undisclosed), Hampus Lindholm (wrist), Carter Rowney (leg)
Tonight’s game will be in Anaheim at 7:00 pm Arizona time. It will air on Bally Sports Arizona Plus and Fox Sports 910 AM.