Monday Morning Howl: 2 Games, 3 Points for Coyotes

After a four-day hiatus from game action following their 3-2 shootout victory over the San Jose Sharks on Feb. 4, the Arizona Coyotes got back to work on Thursday night at Gila River Arena against the Montreal Canadiens. They were able to beat All-Star goaltender Carey Price four times on the night but were unable to contain Max Pacioretty and a potent Montreal offense as the Habs came away with a 5-4 overtime victory.

On Saturday night, the Coyotes hosted the defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins, and, despite blowing a 3-1 lead late in regulation, were able to come away with a 4-3 overtime victory on Larry Fitzgerald Night to finish the week undefeated in regulation at 1-0-1.

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On the Road Again

Following their victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins at Gila River Arena on Saturday night, the Coyotes will hit the road for a three-game trip starting on Monday night in Calgary. The Flames have struggled in recent weeks and have dropped out of a playoff spot in the West as a result, but they seem to have Arizona’s number, as they’ve defeated the Coyotes in all four of the previous meetings this season. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 P.M. in Calgary.

After their contest on Monday night in Calgary, the Coyotes will pack up and make the short trip northward to Edmonton where they’ll take on the Oilers for the final time this season on Tuesday night. The Coyotes have lost two straight in regulation to Edmonton and will be looking to get back on track against a team they’ve dominated in recent years. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 P.M. in Edmonton.

Following their two-game trek through Alberta, the Coyotes will finish out their road trip on Thursday night in Southern California against the Los Angeles Kings. Los Angeles has picked up two victories over the Coyotes in Glendale this season, but this will be the first matchup of the year at the Staples Center. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 P.M. local time in Los Angeles (8:30 P.M. in Arizona).

On Saturday, the Coyotes will return home and will wrap up the season series against the San Jose Sharks on the team’s 20th anniversary celebration night. Arizona has played well against San Jose this season; despite allowing 40 or more shots in each of the previous four meetings, the Coyotes are 3-0-1 against their division rivals in 2016-17 and will be looking to finish the season undefeated in regulation against the defending Western Conference Champions. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:00 P.M. in Glendale.

Domi Makes an Impact

Although Max Domi returned to the lineup on Feb. 2 against the Chicago Blackhawks, it was clear to everyone watching that the talented youngster had some rust built up after being out since Dec. 8 with a hand injury. However, this week, things couldn’t have gone better for Domi — the youngster recorded a goal and an assist in Thursday’s overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens and added another assist in Saturday’s victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins to give him three points in four games since his return to the lineup.

With Domi on the ice, the Coyotes are clearly a much more potent offensive team; he couldn’t be stopped by Pittsburgh’s defense on Saturday and could have added a few more goals to his season total were it not for some outstanding goaltending from Marc-Andre Fleury. He’ll be a player to watch for in Arizona over the final two months of the regular season as he gets re-acclimated to the game after a long layoff.

Pacific Division Roundup

The Sharks earned points in three out of four games last week and continue to lead in the Pacific Division. Here’s how Arizona’s other division rivals fared last week:

Anaheim Ducks (29-18-10, 68 points)

  • Last week: 1-2-0
  • Analysis: Anaheim continues to take on water; they’re just 1-3-1 so far in February and haven’t looked like much of a Stanley Cup contender this season. They’ll need to get things straightened out in a hurry or else it’ll be another quick playoff exit in Orange County.
  • Player of the week: Hampus Lindholm – Goal, 2 assists, +1, 7 shots
  • This week: Tue at MIN, Fri vs FLA, Sun vs LA

Calgary Flames (28-25-3, 59 points)

  • Last week: 1-0-0
  • Analysis: The Flames picked up a big shootout victory over the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday to enter their bye week on a high note.
  • Player of the week: Chad Johnson – 1-0-0 record, 31 saves on 33 shots (.939 SV%), 3 saves on 3 shootout chances
  • This week: Mon vs AZ, Wed vs PHI, Sat at VAN

Edmonton Oilers (29-19-8, 66 points)

  • Last week: 0-1-0
  • Analysis: The Oilers came back from their bye week on Saturday against the Chicago Blackhawks but were soundly defeated by a 5-1 margin. They’ve won just once since Jan. 26 and will need to get things back on track to stay in one of the top three spots in the Pacific.
  • Player of the week: Patrick Maroon – Goal
  • This week: Tue vs AZ, Thu vs PHI, Sat at CHI

Los Angeles Kings (28-23-4, 60 points)

  • Last week: 1-1-0
  • Analysis: The Kings have won six of their last eight games, and have closed to within six points of the Edmonton Oilers for third place in the Pacific Division.
  • Player of the week: Jeff Carter – 2 goals, 2 assists
  • This week: Thu vs AZ, Sat vs FLA, Sun at ANA

San Jose Sharks (34-18-53, 73 points)

  • Last week: 1-1-2
  • Analysis: The Sharks were able to snap a four-game losing streak on Sunday with a 4-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils, and have opened up a five-point lead over the struggling Anaheim Ducks in the Pacific Division.
  • Player of the week: Brent Burns – 2 goals, 2 assists, +1, 23 shots
  • This week: Wed vs FLA, Sat at AZ, Sun vs BOS

Vancouver Canucks (25-25-6, 56 points)

  • Last week: 2-2-0
  • Analysis: The Canucks managed to pick up two big road victories last week, but they still remain four points behind Los Angeles for the final playoff spot in the West.
  • Players of the week: Bo Horvat – 2 goals, 3 assists, +3
  • This week: Tue at PIT, Thu at STL, Sat vs CGY, Sun vs PHI

The Coyotes have continued to play solid hockey — they’ve earned points in three consecutive games and will look to continue playing well on the road this week in Calgary, Edmonton, and Los Angeles.