The NHL is set up with a great slate of action on Friday night. Nine games will be up on the board throughout on January 22. One of these games will be a meeting between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Arizona Coyotes. These two teams will meet for the third straight game as they both look to get in the win column. This game will drop the puck at around 9:00 PM Eastern time.
The Golden Knights have earned a record of 4-0 throughout the early part of this season, which has them in first place of the West Division. Vegas has been able to dominate the Coyotes in the last two games of the season series and will look to carry that momentum over as they go on the road. The Golden Knights will look to stay undefeated with a hot start in this one.
Arizona has opened up the new season with a record of 1-2-1, which has them sitting in sixth place of the West Division. The Coyotes have hit a tough two game losing streak after a 1-0-1 start to the season. Arizona will look to bounce back with a win at home in this one. If the Coyotes can come out with more energy in this one, it could help them get back in the win column.
These two teams have had opposite starts to the new season, but will look to earn a big win in this one. The Golden Knights have dominated Arizona early in the season, but I expect the Coyotes to use that as momentum coming into this one. If Arizona can get started early in Friday night’s meeting, they could hand Vegas their first loss of the season.
The Golden Knights and the Coyotes met up three times throughout last season. Arizona was able to win the first game of the season series with a 4-1 victory. The second game shifted to Vegas, where the Golden Knights won 2-1 in a shootout. The final game stayed in Vegas and the Golden Knights won 4-1 to win the season series with two wins.
The first game of this season’s series was on January 18. Tyler Pitlick and Nick Schmaltz both scored for the Coyotes as Arizona took a 2-0 lead. Reilly Smith scored twice, while Chandler Stephenson had a goal and an assist. Max Pacioretty also scored a goal to help lead the comeback. Robin Lehner stopped 30 of 32 shots as the Golden Knights won 4-2.
The second game of the season series stayed in Vegas on January 20. Nick Schmaltz and Phil Kessel both scored for the Coyotes, but it once again was not enough. Alex Tuch had a goal and two assists. Shea Theodore scored twice, while Alex Pietrangelo and Mark Stone had a goal and an assist. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 21 of 23 shots to help give the Golden Knights a 5-2 win.
Vegas has won four games in a row against the Coyotes coming into this matchup. The Golden Knights were able to dominate in the first two meetings of the season series. The Coyotes will need to tighten up on defense a lot in this one if they want to knock off Vegas. Arizona will look to move on quickly coming into this one to bounce back with a win.
The Golden Knights power play has struggled throughout this season, but their penalty kill has been really strong. Vegas has scored 1 power play goal on 14 opportunities, which is a 7.1 percent power play. The Golden Knights have killed off 13 of their 14 penalties against, which is a 91.7 percent kill rate. Vegas will look to improve on the power play as this season advances.
Arizona has been around the league average on both sides of special teams this season. The Coyotes have been able to capitalize on 3 of their 16 power play attempts, which is an 18.8 percent success rate. Arizona has given up 4 goals on 20 power play chances to opposing teams, which is an 80 percent penalty kill. The Coyotes will look to step up on special teams entering this one.
These two teams have been very different on special teams throughout this season. Vegas has not been able to get their power play going, but their penalty kill has been not stoppable. The Coyotes have been around the middle of the league on both sides of special teams this season. If either team can get a power play goal or two in this one, it could be enough to earn the win on Friday night.
I believe Robin Lehner will get the start in the net for Vegas in this one. Lehner has started twice this season, earning a record of 2-0. He has posted a save percentage of .926 and a 2.01 GAA through his starts this season. Lehner finished with 30 saves on 32 shots in his last outing and will look to build off of that in this one.
Darcy Kuemper will likely get the nod in the crease for the Coyotes on Friday night. Kuemper has started three times throughout this season, earning a record of 0-2-1 so far. He has posted a save percentage of .879 and a 3.63 GAA. Kuemper finished with a .928 save percentage and a GAA of 2.22 throughout last season. Arizona will need Kuemper to put up a better performance in this one if they want to bounce back with a win.
These two goalies will look to earn a big win in this one on Friday night. Kuemper has struggled a bit throughout the early stages of this season, but will look to come out strong in this one. Lehner has had a hot start to this season and will look to keep it going. I expect both goalies to try and set the pace early with some big stops.
These two teams are entering their third straight meeting, which should lead to a good game on Friday night. The Golden Knights have been able to win all four of their games to open up the season, but I think that the Coyotes will come out better in this one. Arizona will look to finally break through on this Vegas team with a win on Friday night.
BetOnline has the Golden Knights listed as a -150 against the money line in this one. This implies that Vegas will win this game around 60 percent of the time. The Golden Knights have won four in a row against the Coyotes, but this will eventually change. I think Arizona will hand Vegas their first loss of the season with a win on Friday night.