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Carolina Hurricanes at Arizona Coyotes preview: Pressure is on

© James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Hurricanes (30-17-5) at Arizona Coyotes (23-25-4)

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

Following a hard-fought battle to the last-minute in their first encounter, the Arizona Coyotes and Carolina Hurricanes will run it back again, this time in the desert.

Tied 1-1 with just under 40 seconds left in regulation, Dmitry Orlov and Jesper Fast both scored on back-to-back shifts to claim a 3-1 win for the ‘Canes a few weeks ago in North Carolina. Arizona was heavily outshot 39-11, but Connor Ingram fought to the bitter end with a 36-save performance.

The Coyotes are currently on a seven-game losing streak, with the previous defeat to Carolina being the third result during this stretch. They are also winless in the month of February (0-3-1) and 2-7-1 in their last 10.

On Wednesday, Arizona’s latest contest was back-and-forth with the Minnesota Wild, but the ‘Yotes ended up suffering a 3-1 loss. Logan Cooley scored the Coyotes’ lone goal and Ingram left after the second period with an undisclosed injury.

Without their starting goalie in Ingram available, Karel Vejmelka is expected to start in goal for the ‘Yotes. This season, Vejmelka is 6-12-2 with a 3.36 goals-against average and .900 save percentage in 23 games. Matt Villalta will serve as the backup after his recent promotion from the Tucson Roadrunners (AHL) was made official this morning.

Hurricanes Notes

As for the Hurricanes, they continue to make noise around the NHL as they are the second-best team in the loaded Metropolitan Division.

To keep up their momentum, Carolina is 5-2 in their past seven games. They did lose, however, in their last one 4-2 on Tuesday, though it was against the Dallas Stars who are the Central Division leaders.

Among the rest of his squad, Sebastian Aho has been excelling. This season, Aho leads all Hurricanes in goals (19), assists (38) and points (57). Coming into Tempe, he has nine points (four goals, five assists) in his past nine games.

Carolina ranks 10th in the NHL in goals-for per game (3.31) and 11th in goals-against (2.88). Not only that, but their special teams units are in the upper echelon of the league with the 2nd best power play (27.5%) and 4th best penalty kill (84.3%).

Amongst the top-four sports leagues (NHL, NBA, NFL, MLB) tonight, this is the only game scheduled.

With this in mind, all sports fans should feast their eyes on this entertaining matchup.

Key Stats

Goals: Coyotes – RW Clayton Keller: 21 | Hurricanes – C Sebastian Aho: 19

Assists: Coyotes – RW Clayton Keller: 28 | Hurricanes – C Sebastian Aho: 38

Points: Coyotes – RW Clayton Keller: 49 (21 goals, 28 assists) | Hurricanes – C Sebastian Aho: 57 points (19 goals, 38 assists)


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

Carolina Hurricanes: G Antti Raanta (lower body – OUT), G Frederik Andersen (blood clot – IR)

Coyotes F Liam O’Brien battling upper-body injury, placed on IR

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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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