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Coyotes at Canucks preview: Familiar faces clash

© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Coyotes (21-18-2) at Vancouver Canucks (29-11-4)

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Starting Time/Venue: 8 p.m. MST at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

For the first time this season, the Arizona Coyotes and Vancouver Canucks collide as both teams have familiar faces going up against their former teams.

The Coyotes are coming off of a 3-2 overtime loss to the Calgary Flames on Tuesday.

Up 2-0, the Coyotes allowed two goals in a 1:03 span during the third period.

Calgary forced an extra period of play before forward Yegor Sharangovich scored the winner as the ‘Yotes fell to 2-5 in their last seven contests.

What changed the game was that Nick Schmaltz did not return after suffering an undisclosed injury in the second frame. Schmaltz will be a game-time decision for tonight’s tilt.

Canucks Notes

Before the Columbus Blue Jackets won 4-3 in overtime against the Canucks on Monday, Vancouver won five-straight.

Vancouver has been dominant in all aspects of their play. this season. So much so, they lead the Pacific Division and are tied with the Winnipeg Jets for the best team in the NHL with 62 points.

The Canucks score the most goals per-game (3.82), and give up the second-least per-game (2.55).

Leading the pack down the middle, Vancouver centers J.T. Miller and Elias Pettersson are top-10 in the league in points. Miller has 60 points (4th) while Pettersson holds 58 (7th).

Statistically, Canucks captain Quinn Hughes is the best NHL defenseman in the NHL. Hughes leads in plus/minus with +33, tied for second in goals (11), second in assists (41) and tied for first in points (52).

Not stopping there, Brock Boeser has netted 27 goals this season, tied for fourth in the NHL along with New York Rangers forward Artemi Panarin.

Familiar Faces

Also accrediting to Vancouver’s uprising this season so far, they hired former Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet on Jan. 22, 2023 who has transformed the Canucks organization since.

During his first stint behind the bench in the valley, Tocchet was an assistant coach for the then-Phoenix Coyotes in 2005, and became an interim head coach for five games. He would take other opportunities around the NHL from 2008 on until 2017 when Arizona rehired him as the head coach in the summer of 2017. Tocchet led the ‘Yotes to a 125-131-34 record, including a playoff berth in 2020. In 2021 both the team and him parted ways mutually.

Another familiar face to the ‘Yotes organization that’s currently on Vancouver is right wing Conor Garland.

From 2018-21, Garland was a Coyote and had 47 goals, 49 assists and 96 points in 164 games. His speed and ability to get into the dirty areas in front of the oppositions goal saw Garland have success in the desert. However, he was traded to the Canucks in the 2021 offseason and has been acclimated well to his change of scenery. As a Canuck, Garland has posted 42 goals, 77 assists and 119 points in 202 games.

Spending four seasons with the Canucks (2016-20), Coyotes defenseman Troy Stecher returns to his home province of British Columbia.


Last season, the Coyotes were 1-1-1 when they faced Vancouver in a three-game series.

Ex captain Bo Horvat scored twice as Vancouver beat the ‘Yotes 3-2 on Dec. 3, 2022.

Then, former Canuck Travis Boyd had a two-goal night at Mullett Arena as Arizona returned the favor, winning 3-2 on Mar. 16, 2023.

Garland would record a hat trick against his old team in the Coyotes as Vancouver pulled off a 5-4 overtime victory on Apr. 13, 2023.

Arizona is 81-96-20-10 all-time in their franchises history against the Canucks.

Key Stats


Coyotes – LW Lawson Crouse/RW Clayton Keller: T-17

Canucks – RW Brock Boeser: 27


Coyotes – LW Matias Maccelli/RW Clayton Keller: T-22

Canucks – C Nazem Kadri: 20


Coyotes – RW Clayton Keller: 39 (17 goals, 22 assists)

Canucks – C J.T. Miller: 60 (20 goals, 40 assists)


Arizona Coyotes: C Barrett Hayton (upper body – IR), D Vladislav Kolyachonok (lower body – IR), C Travis Boyd (upper body – IR), C Nick Schmaltz (undisclosed – Questionable)

Vancouver Canucks: LW Phillip Di Giuseppe (undisclosed – IR), D Guillaume Brisebois (upper body – IR)

Flames erase two-goal deficit, pull off 3-2 OT win over Coyotes

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

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