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Seattle Kraken at Arizona Coyotes Preview: A familiar face returns to Tempe

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Following a 5-3 loss to the Winnipeg Jets, the Arizona Coyotes (5-5-1) will look to get back on track as they host the Seattle Kraken (4-6-2) inside Mullett Arena in Tempe tonight at 7 p.m.

Last game, the ‘Yotes were winning 2-0 early on before Jets forward Nino Niederreiter scored a hat-trick to power the comeback win for Winnipeg on Nov. 4.

Consistency has been the main issue for Arizona as they have not won more than two games in a row to start 2023-24.

On the other hand, the Kraken will make their second trip to the desert as they plan on rebounding after a 6-3 loss to the Calgary Flames on Nov. 4.

So far, Seattle have struggled this campaign following them making it all the way to the 2022-23 NHL Western Conference Semifinals before losing in a seven-game series, 4-3 to the Dallas Stars.

However, the newest expansion team in the league did manage to knock out the Central Division champions, the Colorado Avalanche, in the first round last year.

Here is all you need to know before the Coyotes and Kraken clash at “The Mullett.”

Pregame Notes

This game could be especially significant for one player and that is Seattle goaltender Joey Daccord.

Before his professional journey, Daccord spent three seasons from 2016-2019 with the Arizona State University Sun Devils.

Overall, Daccord had a 32-34-7 record along with eight shutouts in 82 games during his time in Tempe.

Since the other Kraken goaltender Phillip Grubauer has played in their last three contests, there is a chance they give him a rest and Daccord will be the starter tonight.

Seattle have a three-way tie for the team lead in points as defenseman Vince Dunn, forward Jaden Schwartz and right wing Oliver Bjorkstrand all have 10.

Furthermore, Kraken center Jared McCann has scored six goals and three assists for nine points in 12 games.

After netting 40 goals a year ago in 79 contests, McCann was off to a slow start, but has picked it up recently with three goals and two assists in his last four games.

In contrast, Coyotes center/right wing Nick Schmaltz has currently potted the most points for Arizona as he has recorded 10 in 11 contests.

History and Injury Updates

This past April, Arizona played the Kraken three times in eight days, going 0-3 against Seattle.

First, the ‘Yotes were crushed 8-1 on Apr. 3 with McCann having two of their goals at Climate Pledge Arena in the state of Washington.

Then, McCann and Kraken teammate Jordan Eberle both put up a goal and two assists each as both of them led their squad to a 4-2 win in Seattle on Apr. 6.

Completing the season sweep, McCann yet again was an issue for the Coyotes as he recorded a goal and an assist inside Mullett Arena before Arizona eventually lost 4-1 on Apr. 10.

Thankfully, ‘Yotes forward Lawson Crouse and defenseman Troy Stecher were both able to return to the game against Winnipeg and should be inserted back into the lineup tonight after facing injury scares in the third period.

In the third period, Crouse went to hit a Jet in the corner, but ended up tweaking something in his right arm as he collided with the glass.

Additionally, Stecher took a puck to the mouth and went straight to the locker room, but came back before the contest concluded.

As for Seattle, left wings André Burakovsky (upper-body) and Brandon Tanev (lower-body) were both placed on injured reserve and won’t be available tonight.

Nino Niederreiter scores hat-trick, propels Jets to 5-3 win over Coyotes

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Alec Cipollini is the lead reporter of the Arizona Coyotes and Cardinals for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on his X account @AlecCipollini

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