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Minnesota Wild at Arizona Coyotes preview: Now or never

© Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Wild (24-23-5) at Arizona Coyotes (23-24-4)

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Starting Time/Venue: 7:30 p.m. MST at Mullett Arena in Tempe, AZ

The Arizona Coyotes are back in the Valley following a two-game roadtrip as they have an encounter with the Minnesota Wild tonight.

Before the puck drops between these two Central Division foes, the ‘Yotes are on a season-high six-game losing streak and 2-8 in their last 10 games after most recently falling 5-3 to the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday. J.J. Moser recorded two assists in the defeat.

During their past two games away from home against Philadelphia and the Nashville Predators, Arizona had the lead in both going into the third period before they ultimately disappeared.

Returning home where they have had success this season with a 15-10 record, the Coyotes will hope to end their misfortunes in Tempe up against the Wild.

In Minneapolis on Jan. 13, former Wild center and Blaine, Minnesota native Nick Bjugstad scored a hat trick while Connor Ingram logged a 38-save shutout en route to a 6-0 Coyotes win.

Arizona were holding the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference at that point while Minnesota struggled even after firing former head coach Dean Evason for John Hynes.

However, the tables have turned over the past month as the Coyotes find themselves 13th in the conference and below the Wild in the standings. Minnesota have 53 points and are sixth place in the Central Division while the ‘Yotes hold 50 in seventh, though Arizona do have a game in hand.

As of recently, the Wild have been on a streak of their own, but a polar opposite one to Arizona’s.

Rattling off wins in three straight, Minnesota are keeping their playoff chase alive, including a 5-3 statement victory over the Vegas Golden Knights last time out Monday. Matt Boldy registered a goal and added two assists while Joel Eriksson Ek scored twice.

Offensively, the Wild are in the middle of the NHL pack statiscically, but have suffered due to poor defensive play, goaltending and injuries throughout the season.

Minnesota rank 30th in the league while on the penalty kill (74.3). They have also given up 170 goals this season, which sees them in 21st.

Captain Jared Spurgeon, power forwards Pat Maroon and Marcus Foligno are all on injured reserve, stretching the capabilities of the depth for the Wild.

It will be interesting to see if both streaks snap or continue based on who wins tonight.

Will the Coyotes finally end their skid or does the Wild extend their latest surge to push the Coyotes further back from a playoff berth?

Grab some popcorn, this game is potentially going to be chaotic at the electric Mullett Arena.

Key Stats

Goals: Coyotes – RW Clayton Keller: 21 | Wild – C Joel Eriksson Ek: 23

Assists: Coyotes – RW Clayton Keller: 28 | Wild – RW Mats Zuccarello: 31

Points: Coyotes – RW Clayton Keller: 49 (21 goals, 28 assists) | Wild – LW Kirill Kaprizov: 49 (20 goals, 29 assists)


Arizona Coyotes: D Troy Stecher (lower body – IR), C Travis Boyd (upper body – IR), C Liam O’Brien (upper body – OUT)

Minnesota Wild: D Jared Spurgeon (hip – IR), LW Pat Maroon (back – IR), LW Marcus Foligno (lower body – IR)

Flyers third period rally powers 5-3 victory over Coyotes

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

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