Having put a five-game losing streak behind them with a 3-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday, the Arizona Coyotes hope to finish a four-game homestand with another win when the Carolina Hurricanes come to the desert Thursday night.
Despite the losing streak, the Coyotes have had recent success at home with at least a point from eight straight games (5-0-3) in Glendale, Ariz.
On Tuesday, they shut out a hot Edmonton team with 30 saves from Antti Raanta, a short-handed goal from Lawson Crouse and goals for Conor Garland and Christian Dvorak, two players on their top line.
“A lot of people contributed,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. “Even keel. Don’t get too high, don’t get too low. We’ve got a tough game against Carolina. They’ve got to bring that juice again.”
A players-only meeting before Tuesday’s game appeared to have set the tone for a strong effort that night. The Coyotes silenced two of the top scorers in the NHL, Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid, who were held scoreless on a combined eight shots.
Raanta got a shutout two days after a 42-save night against the Chicago Blackhawks.
“When you pretty much see all the shots and they’re coming from the outside and not from close range, it makes it easier,” Raanta said. “You take the two points and the good things and bad things into Thursday’s game.”
The Coyotes ended the night tied for third place in the Pacific Division, with a handful of teams in the Western Conference hot on their heels for a wild-card spot.
Carolina is in the same situation as Arizona, trying to keep its playoff hopes alive. But the Hurricanes ended Tuesday night with a 6-3 loss at the St. Louis Blues and two points out of a wild-card spot in the East. The Hurricanes played their first game of a four-game road trip that will take them to Arizona, Vegas and Dallas, three of the top teams in the West.
Sebastian Aho scored his team-leading 27th goal and has a four-game points streak with goals in three straight games.
“There were a lot of things missing. (Power play), we didn’t execute. (Penalty kill), it was too easy for them. Tap-ins, back door,” Aho told the team’s website. “This time of year in the place we are, we should have a higher desperation level. It’s not like guys are not trying or not working. It’s a little something extra we need right now.”
Former Coyotes wing Jordan Martinook was held out of the third period with a back injury, casting doubt on whether he’ll play against his former team.
“Everyone has a job to do, a role to take pride in that,” Carolina center Jordan Staal said. “Myself, all the way down the lineup has to be a little better, and we’ll find a way to win some games.”
–Field Level Media