The Pacific Division meets the Metro Division this evening as the Arizona Coyotes pay a visit to PNC Arena In Raleigh, North Carolina to rumble with the Carolina Hurricanes. The Coyotes will be playing this game on no rest as they have a road game against the Sabres on Wednesday night, while the Hurricanes are off of a Goalie Probables: The Coyotes will be sending out Darcy Kuemper and the Hurricanes will counter with Cam Ward.
Coyotes No Longer Worst Team In The League
The Arizona Coyotes have just 59 points on the year, which is the 2nd fewest in the league and they lead the Sabres by one point. Those two teams will meet on Wednesday night, so the Coyotes could have the fewest points in the league by the time this one is played. Still, they have been paying much better of late as they have won 11 of their last 17 games (prior to Wednesday) They obviously have no shot at a playoff berth, but they are looking to build confidence for next year and they would also like to not finish with the fewest points in the league. Leading the team this year has been Clayton Keller with 20 goals, while Brendan Perlini is 2nd with 16 and 3rd is Christian Dvorak with 15. The Coyotes have gone 9-24 on the road and they have averaged 2.39 gpg and have allowed 3/42 gpg in those games.
Antti Raanta is slated to get the start on Wednesday night, so for this one, it will be Darcy Kuemper that gets the call and he has gone 12-8 with a 2.26 GAA and a .925 save percentage on the year, including 6-4 with a 2.45 GAA and a .921 save percentage on the road. He started the year in Los Angeles and is 2-4 with a 2.68 GAA and a .904 save percentage for the Coyotes. In his career, he has gone 25-33 with a 2.69 GAA on the road and 4-11 with a 3.04 GAA against the Metro Division, while against the Canes he is 0-0 with a 4.65 GAA.
The Coyotes have been very poor on offense this year as they come in ranked 30th in the league in scoring at 2.40 gpg, while also ranking 29th in shots taken (30.1 spg) and 27th in power play conversions, converting on 16.3% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been poor as they come in ranked 24th in goals allowed, giving up 3.13 gpg, while also ranking 17th in shots allowed (32.0 spg) and 17th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 19.8% of their chances.
Hurricanes Get Blown Away By The Oilers
The final nail in the coffin for Carolina’s playoff chances after they were crushed at home by the Oilers at home by a score 7-3 on Tuesday night. The Hurricanes will have seven games to go after this one and they are currently nine points out of the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference playoff standings. I feel it is safe to say that they will not be getting in. They had a chance to make the postseason, but going just 4-12 over their last 16 games have pretty much taken their chances away and losing like they did against the Oilers may indicate that they have thrown in the towel. Scoring in the loss to the Oilers was Brock McGinn, which was his 13th of the year, Sebastian Aho, which was his 26th and Teuvo Teravainen, which was his 22nd. The Canes have now allowed 4.86 gpg over their last seven games. Yikes. Carolina has gone 16-21 here at home and they have averaged 2.54 gpg and have allowed 3.00 gpg in those games.
Taking the loss against the Oilers was Scott Darling, who allowed seven goals on 30 shot attempts to fall to 12-25 with a 3.19 GAA and a .885 save percentage on the year. Cam Ward is slated to get the start in this one and he has gone 19-18 with a 2.78 GAA and a .904 save percentage on the year, including 10-11 with a 2.57 GAA and a .908 save percentage here at home. In his career, he has gone 184-155 with a 2.56 GAA in his home games and 28-31 with a 2.88 GAA against the Pacific Division, while against the Coyotes he has gone 6-5 with a 2.99 GAA.
Carolina has been a poor offensive team so far as they come in ranked 26th in the league in scoring 2.66 gpg, while also ranking 4th in shots taken (34.2 spg) and 20th in power play conversions, converting on 19.6% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been poor so far as they come in ranked 25th in goals allowed, giving up 3.14 gpg, while also ranking 1st in shots allowed (28.6 spg) and 24th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 22.4% of their chances.
- 16-35 in their last 51 games playing on 0 days rest
- 19-39 in their last 58 in the third game of a 3-in-4 situation
- 6-1 in their last seven vs. a team with a winning % below .400
- 6-0 in their last six home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400
The Hurricanes may have thrown in the towel as they are now a long shot to make the postseason, while the Coyotes are looking to finish the season strong and they have been playing very well of late. The Coyotes are at a disadvantage in this game as they are playing it on no rest against a rest team and I feel that the Hurricanes will be able to use that to their advantage. The Hurricanes have struggled here at home for the year, but the Coyotes have gone just 9-24 on the road and the Coyotes are just 2-6 in their last eight games in this series. I look for Carolina to grab a much-needed win in this one and keep their very slim playoff hopes alive.