Despite losing back-to-back games in overtime, the Arizona Coyotes take a five-game point streak into the final meeting of their three-game road trip as they pay a visit to the Nashville Predators on Monday night.
The streak includes impressive home wins over St. Louis (5-0) and Minnesota (3-2) but also three overtime road losses to Anaheim (2-1), Chicago (4-3) and Saturday night at St. Louis (6-5).
It will be the third game in four nights for Andre Tourigny’s squad, which blew 2-0 leads in both Friday’s loss to the Blackhawks and Saturday’s contest against the Blues before scoring late in the third period to force overtime and garner a point.
Nick Bjugstad scored the tying goal with 2:27 left at Chicago before Caleb Jones scored the winner in overtime. The Coyotes, who surrendered five consecutive goals to St. Louis after taking a 2-0 first-period lead on Saturday, battled back to score three goals over the final 10:13 with Lawson Crouse scoring the tying goal with 57 seconds left after goalie Karel Vejmelka had been pulled for an extra attacker.
Ryan O’Reilly scored the winning goal 1:02 into overtime for the Blues, but Tourigny was still happy with his team’s comeback.
“We came back strong in the third,” Tourigny said. “It was urgent. … Everybody was focused on coming back in that game and playing well. Today was a good day.”
Arizona played the game at St. Louis without star defenseman Jakob Chychrun, who was a healthy scratch for what the team said was due to “trade-related reasons.” The Los Angeles Kings, Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames are among the teams reportedly interested in acquiring Chychrun before the March 3 trade deadline.
“We have a job to do,” Tourigny said. “(Chychrun) is a great guy, a guy we like in the locker room, but there’s a situation there that concerns him, our GM, our organization, obviously, and his agent. It’s their job to deal with it, not my job.”
Nashville has won four of its last five and is in fifth place in Central, four points behind third-place Colorado and also four points behind Minnesota, which holds the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
The Predators enter Monday coming off a 2-1 overtime victory at Philadelphia on Saturday. Matt Duchene scored the game-winner with a wrist shot from the high slot off a drop pass from Ryan Johansen 34 seconds into the extra period while Juuse Saros stopped 23 of 24 shots.
“I thought I might have had a chance to beat their guy wide and take it to the net, and he did a good job of skating back,” Johansen said. “By doing that, though, it gave (Duchene) a little time and space just to drop it to him and get a shot off, and he took over from there and got it done.”
Left wing Filip Forsberg, who leads the Predators with 19 goals, had to be helped off the ice late in the first period following a check by Philadelphia defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen. Forsberg didn’t return.
“It could be anything the way that he went down,” Nashville coach John Hynes said. “I have not talked to the trainers. They just let me know that he wasn’t going to finish the game.”
–Field Level Media