Preview: Coyotes at Golden Knights
The Vegas Golden Knights look to avoid matching the longest home losing streak in the brief history of their franchise when they host the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night. The Golden Knights reached the Stanley Cup Finals in their inaugural season due in large part to their success at T-Mobile Arena, but Saturday's 4-3 loss to Columbus was their third straight at home.
Vegas has a safe cushion for third place in the Pacific Division but plays 15 of its last 25 at T-Mobile and is hoping to make a run at Calgary and San Jose. “We’ve got to do a better job to get some wins in here,” defenseman Jon Merrill said after the Golden Knights gave up a pair of late third-period goals in their latest loss. The Coyotes ended a five-game slide with a 3-2 victory over Dallas to stay within six points of the second wild card. Arizona has been flummoxed by Vegas, losing both meetings this season and six of seven overall.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, FS Arizona, AT&T Sportsnet-Rocky Mountain (Las Vegas)
ABOUT THE COYOTES (24-26-5): Although Arizona has struggled with the man advantage, defenseman Alex Goligoski and Alex Galchenyuk each converted on the power play against Dallas. It marked only the third time this season the team has scored twice in a game with an extra skater and halted a four-game drought with the man advantage. "We've lost the special teams battle probably for the last three or four (games)," Goligoski said. "We're obviously aware of it. So it's nice to always get the power play going when you haven't been scoring. ... So that's good confidence going forward."
ABOUT THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS (31-22-4): William Carrier made a loud return to the lineup in his first game after missing more than a month, delivering eight hits against the Blue Jackets to boost his league-leading total to 227. “He’s a power guy,” linemate Pierre-Edouard Bellemare said. “Not just in the sense that he goes and hits guys, he’s got power in everything he does out there. He brings a lot of intensity to our game." Forward Brandon Pirri sat out Saturday's game because he was not feeling well, but he practiced with the top power play unit Monday and is expected to play, coach Gerard Gallant said.
1. Coyotes G Darcy Kuemper gave up five goals in a 5-1 loss to Vegas on Dec. 30.
2. Vegas G Marc-Andre Fleury is 9-5-1 with a 1.98 goals-against average versus Arizona.
3. Coyotes D Jordan Oesterle owns a career-high four-game point streak.
PREDICTION: Golden Knights 4, Coyotes 2