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Vegas Golden Knights at Arizona Coyotes preview: Shake off the rust

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Vegas Golden Knights (30-15-6) at Arizona Coyotes (23-22-3)

Starting Time/Venue: 7 p.m. MST at Mullett Arena in Tempe, AZ

The Arizona Coyotes hit the ice once again after a long, 11-day break as they will go to battle against the Vegas Golden Knights tonight.

These two teams previously clashed back on Nov. 25 when Connor Ingram recorded a 34-save shutout in a 2-0 Coyotes win. Clayton Keller and Lawson Crouse both scored for Arizona.

Vegas couldn’t capitalize off of their chances with Ingram and the Coyotes’ defense shutting down any danger coming at them.

It took until midway through the third period before Keller got on the board first. Crouse iced the game with an empty-netter.

Before the All-Star break, Arizona lost three consecutive games, falling most recently to the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1.

Ingram tried to preserve a 1-1 tie as time was expiring in regulation, but the Hurricanes scored twice with under 40 seconds left. The Coyotes were outshot 39-11 in the defeat.

Coming into tonight’s tilt, both defenseman Matt Dumba and center Barrett Hayton will play against the Golden Knights, confirmed by ‘Yotes head coach André Tourigny. Dumba and Hayton were on Injured Reserve beforehand.

Vegas Notes

The Golden Knights are riding sky-high after snapping the Edmonton Oilers’ 16-game winning streak, claiming a 3-1 victory on Tuesday. “VGK” center Chandler Stephenson posted a two-point performance while former Coyotes goaltender Adin Hill stopped 30 shots.

Vegas operate as a committee with receiving contributions from the entire lineup, ultimately guiding them to becoming the 2023 Stanley Cup champions.

Along with the depth they have going forward and rolling all four lines, Vegas’ defense is the backbone of their success.

Brayden McNabb currently has the fourth highest amount of blocked shots out of any player in the NHL with 140.

Topping the goaltending charts, Hill is the leader in both save percentage (.938) and goals-against average (1.88) league-wide.

Apr 30, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Coyotes goalie Adin Hill (31) in the second period against the Vegas Golden Knights at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports

With these two factors from the backend, the Golden Knights don’t allow many goals past them as they are eighth in goals allowed (138).

If the first matchup between Arizona and Vegas is a sign of what is to come tonight, this tilt will be a low scoring affair.

Key Stats

Goals

Coyotes – RW Clayton Keller: 20

Golden Knights – RW Jonathan Marchessault: 25

Assists

Coyotes – LW Matias Maccelli/RW Clayton Keller: T-25

Golden Knights – RW Mark Stone: 35

Points

Coyotes – RW Clayton Keller: 45 (20 goals, 25 assists)

Golden Knights – RW Mark Stone: 50 (15 goals, 35 assists)

Injuries

Arizona Coyotes: C Travis Boyd (upper body – IR), D Troy Stecher (lower body – IR), D Travis Dermott (lower body – Day-to-Day)

Vegas Golden Knights: LW Pavel Dorofeyev (upper body – Day-to-Day), D Tobias Björnfot (undisclosed – IR)

Coyotes send D Vladislav Kolyachonok down to Roadrunners

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Alec Cipollini covers Arizona Coyotes and Cardinals news for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on his X account @AlecCipollini

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