It’s a light slate in the NHL tonight, with only three games scheduled to be played. One of those games features the Calgary Flames heading to Arizona to take on the Coyotes, and we’ll preview the matchup before going over my two prop picks for the action.
The Arizona Coyotes' return from the All-Star break has been filled with overtime games, as five of their seven games since the break have reached OT, with two reaching shootouts. In that span, the Coyotes are 4-3 while winning one shootout and one game in OT.
The Coyotes' offense has struggled at times to get shots on net since the break, but they have been able to convert enough opportunities to score three or more goals in six of their last seven games. Entering tonight, Arizona is ranked dead last in the league in shots on goal per game, and even in their most recent overtime win over the Blue Jackets, they only finished with 25 shots on goal.
Not getting off enough shots and allowing too many shots has been the story of the Coyotes' season, as they are still ranked 31st in shots allowed per game. Even in a recent 1-0 shootout win over the Lightning, the Coyotes were still outshot 47 to 26. Tonight’s starting goalie Karel Vejmelka allowed five goals on 14 shots in his most recent outing and will be up for a challenge tonight against a Flames team that ranks 2nd in shots per game.
Despite the high volume of shots, the Flames have not come out strong since the break. Calgary has gone 2-5 since they returned, but their struggles have primarily been on defense. Over the past four games, the Flames have allowed 15 goals, and they will enter tonight off a 4-3 loss to the Flyers. Daniel Vladar will likely be in net for the Flames tonight, and he will be looking to get back in the win column after two straight losses.
Over the past ten games, Kadri is averaging 3.5 shots on goal per game, and in that span, he has gone over his total in six games. After only taking one shot in their recent game against the Flyers, the Flames' team leader in shots is likely to back aggressive tonight, especially against a weak defensive team in the Coyotes.
Entering tonight, the Coyotes are allowing an average of 35.2 shots on goal per game, which is the second-worst average in the league. Only two teams in the NHL have allowed over 2,000 shots on goal already this season, and Arizona is one of them.
Tonight’s goalie for Arizona, Karel Vejmelka, has not allowed under 31 shots on goal in a full game of action since January 15th, and with the first meeting between these two teams, the Flames were able to beat Vejmelka and score three goals in the game.
Mangiapane will enter tonight after getting five shots on goal and one goal against the Flyers, and over the past ten games, he is averaging 2.9 shots per game. In that ten-game stretch, the Flames' left-winger was also able to put up five shots against the Blue Jackets, who have similar defensive numbers to the Coyotes.
The momentum is certainly on his side, as he has scored a goal in each of the past two games and had two points against the Flyers. With the level he’s playing at and the Coyotes' defensive struggles, I think he’s in a good spot to go over his total.