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Edmonton Oilers @ Arizona Coyotes Game Preview

Can Oilers snap their losing streak with a visit to Arizona?

New York Rangers v Arizona Coyotes
Antti Up
Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (18-23-3) (6th, Pacific)

Arizona Coyotes (10-27-6) (8th, Pacific)

7 PM MDT

Gila River Arena - Glendale, AZ

TV: Sportsnet West

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Five For Howling

BREAKDOWN

Edmonton yielded just two goals to Nashville, but they’d scored exactly one goal (and lost another one on a controversial offsides ruling after a goal) en route to another unsatisfying loss. Connor McDavid scored the only Oilers tally, the team is now five games below a Bettman .500 after losing their first three games on a five game road trip.

Game four of that five game roadie stops in Arizona this evening. The Coyotes are worst in the NHL with just ten wins. Can the Oilers take two points from the NHL’s worst?

Let’s go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

“You mention it amongst the group. There’s a tendency to forget about it once you’re out there and you’re just playing the team in front of you,”

Source

That’s Oilers forward Mark Letestu on teams that are coming off the bye week.

Edmonton is the first challenge for the Coyotes after Arizona’s five day break. If the Oilers can’t get up for this one, I can’t imagine how well that’s going to sit with everyone. The Coyotes were last in action on Saturday, a 2-1 loss to the Rangers.

The Coyotes are saying

“We see a player that kind of plays a well-rounded game...He’s a big, strong player, plays with speed, plays with pace, good goal-scorer. I think when you look at goal-scorers sometimes there’s a variation in how they’re scoring. We feel like some of it this year has just been some unluckiness. We still think he’s playing a well-rounded game, still think he’s doing a lot of good things that he was doing in the past. His shooting percentage from areas he’s scored in the past is just slightly down this year. We expect that to bounce back.”

Source

That’s Coyotes General Manager John Chayka after acquiring forward Richard Panik from the Chicago Blackhawks for Anthony Duclair.

Panik had a breakout season that saw him score 22 goals and 44 points with the Blackhawks last year. He’s on pace for only about 12 goals this year. Panik is a career 12% shooter and he’s shooting a little light (8.6% this year) so there could be some bounce back on the scoresheet. Panik could make his Coyotes debut tonight.

Have some of this

  • Looks like therapy sessions are about to start again.
  • WHY ARE THE COYOTES SO BAD? The team with the most goals wins. Often, the Coyotes aren’t that club. Only Buffalo (2.25 goals per game) scores less than the Coyotes (2.26 goals per game), and that’s by the tiniest of margins. Now add the fact that the Coyotes allow well over 3 goals per game (3.44 goals allowed per game). Only the Islanders (3.65 goals per game) allow more. At least the Islanders score once in a while.
  • Oilers kept the same lines as the ones in Nashville for practice yesterday. 19-97-29 are the top line once again, while 27-93-98 are your number 2 line. 16-18-13 and 91-55-44 round out the forwards. Nurse-Larsson, Klefbom-Benning and Sekera-Russell is how it all looked.
  • Oilers about to embark on a back-to-back, so I’d look for Al Montoya to work in a game here before too long. Tonight would be the game I’d start him in (3-2-1, .871 SV% / 3.49 GAA). Should the Oilers run with Talbot (15-16-2, .902 SV% / 3.09 GAA / 1 SO), I’d look for Montoya to get some work tomorrow. The Coyotes will likely counter with Antti Raanta (6-11-3, .917 SV% / 2.71 GAA).
  • SICK BAY: Nik Hjalmarsson (upper body injury) is day-to-day while Zac Rinaldo is suspended. The Oilers do not have any injuries to list at this time.