Forward John Hayden will suit up for the sixth time this season for the Arizona Coyotes as they end a stretch of seven consecutive games against the St. Louis Blues on Monday.
The teams each have three wins and one overtime loss, good for seven points apiece, through the first six games of the unique seven-game stretch.
“It’s been a hard fought six games,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet told the media before the game.
“There’s been a couple fights, some overtime goals. There’s been some moments for each team,” he added.
“Its got the flavor of a Game 7, for sure. I think we should approach it that way.”
Hayden will skate in place of Johan Larsson, who was suspended for an illegal check to the head of Blues forward Zach Sanford in Saturday’s game.
The Coyotes did receive good news on the personnel front as defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson could to return to the team Thursday when they take on the Los Angeles Kings.
Thursday’s game will be the first time the Coyotes have faced off against a team besides the Blues since Jan. 28.
Arizona is hoping an afternoon puck drop will give the younger players an advantage against the veteran St. Louis squad.
Tocchet believes the youthful Coyotes are more accustomed to playing in afternoon games that are common in junior tournaments where night games are not played as often.
“It gives them some energy,” Tocchet said.
“That’s why we scheduled a bunch of afternoon games — I think we have six of them at home — I’m smarter then you guys think.”