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Coyotes head right back into action against the Canadiens

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Despite losing 4-3 in overtime to the Anaheim Ducks last night, the Arizona Coyotes (4-4-1) head back to Tempe as they complete the second half of a back-to-back tonight when they face the Montreal Canadiens (5-2-2) inside Mullett Arena at 7 p.m.

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In SoCal, the ‘Yotes were up 3-2 through two periods of play against the Ducks before Anaheim tied it and right winger Troy Terry completed a hat-trick as he would score 3 goals in the game, including the overtime winner.

Returning home, Arizona are 2-1 at “The Mullett” and will welcome one of the hottest teams in the NHL to the valley as of recently.

The Canadiens are 4-1-1 in their last 6 games after previously losing to the 2022-23 Stanley Cup Champions, the Vegas Golden Knights, 3-2 in a shootout on Oct. 30.

Here is all you need to know before the Coyotes play their second game in two days as they clash with the Canadiens:

Significance of Game

This matchup will showcase a battle of two of the top three draft picks in 2022, Juraj Slafkovský (#1) and Logan Cooley (#3).

Last night, Cooley scored his first NHL goal of his career against the Ducks.

Additionally, that tally would have Cooley tied for the NHL rookie lead in points with 7 as he has a goal and 6 assists in 9 games. Ducks defenseman Pavel Mintyukov and Ottawa Senators center Ridly Greig also have 7.

So far, the general consensus is that Cooley and Chicago Blackhawks star Connor Bedard will go back and forth in that category.

On the other hand, Slafkovský’s start to his professional career since being the first pick hasn’t been as flashy.

Unlike Cooley, Slafkovský made his NHL debut last season while the young ‘Yote went to college at the University of Minnesota after being drafted.

However, Slafkovský would only play 39 games and record 4 goals and assist 6 times before suffering a lower-body injury to end his first campaign.

Furthermore, the 6’3″ Slovakian has only 1 assist in 9 games so far this season.

The game this evening will be the first time both will play each other in the NHL.

Other Notes

Leading the way for Montreal, right winger Cole Caufield has picked up where he left off last season as he has 4 goals and 6 assists in 9 games to this point.

A season ago, Caufield netted 26 goals in 46 games, but was place on injured reserve in January after needing shoulder surgery.

“Habs” center Sean Monahan has had a resurgent start so far as he leads the Canadiens in goals with 5. He also has record 3 assists for 8 points in 9 games.

Like Caufield, Monahan was shutdown by Montreal last season after suffering a lower-body injury with him only playing in 25 contests last year.

With Arizona, even though they weren’t on the scoresheet, wingers Nick Schmaltz and Clayton Keller still have a team-high 8 points.

The Coyotes were 0-1-1 last season against the Canadiens.

At the Bell Centre, Arizona were crushed 6-2 by Montreal on Oct. 20, 2022.

Then, former “Hab” Mike Hoffman scored in overtime to help the Candiens win 3-2 at Mullett Arena on Dec. 19, 2022.

Just yesterday, Montreal forward Kirby Dach had a successful knee surgery, but will be out for the remainder of the season.

Still, Coyotes winger Jason Zucker is out week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

Because of ‘Yotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka starting last night versus Anaheim, Connor Ingram should get the nod in net tonight.

Troy Terry’s hat-trick powers Ducks’ 4-3 overtime victory over the Coyotes

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Alec Cipollini is a journalist covering the Arizona Coyotes, Cardinals and Phoenix Rising for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on his X account @AlecCipollini

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