Preview: Coyotes complete homestand against Blues

January 26, 2023 | 7:00 p.m. MST | Mullett Arena, Tempe, Ariz.
TV: Bally Sports Arizona | Radio: KTAR 92.3 FM

The Arizona Coyotes end their three-game home game against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday, just two games before the all-star break.

The Coyotes are 1-1-0 on their current three-game homestand.

Thursday marks the first of three games between Arizona and St. Louis this season as the two will meet again on February 11 in St. Louis before concluding the season series on March 7 in Tempe.

Forward Clayton Keller, a native of Chesterfield, Mo., has seven goals and 11 assists in 21 games against the Blues. The 24-year-old has 41 points in 48 games this season.

Arizona could also get a boost to its forward corps considering both Matthew Maccelli and Lawson Crouse can return to the line-up tonight after missing some time with injuries. Maccelli ranks third among all NHL rookies with 19 assists, and his 22 points rank fifth overall, despite not having played since Dec. 23.

Although the starting line-ups were not available prior to publication, goalie Karel Wejmelka is expected to receive the nod tonight following his win over Vegas on Tuesday. ‘Veggie’ has appeared in just one game against the Blues in his career, saving 11 of 12 shots in just over 23 minutes against them.

Player to watch: Nick Schmaltz seems to be warming up again, having one goal and two assists in his last three games. The 26-year-old has 19 points in 26 career games against St. Louis and his 14 assists are the most he’s recorded against a team in the league.

Tweet from @ArizonaCoyotes: Hayton 🤝 Schmaltz 🚨

St. Louis has lost back-to-back — to the Buffalo Sabers and the Chicago Blackhawks — by a 5-3 score. Despite the recent defeat, the Blues received good news as striker Vladimir Tarasenko returned to the line-up for the first time since December 31. The 31-year-old has recorded 10 goals and 19 assists in 35 games this season.

St. Louis sits sixth in the Central Division, 14 points ahead of the Coyotes. Center Jordan Kyrou leads the team with 23 goals and 46 points in 45 games this season and has four points in his last three games.

Robert Thomas leads the Blues with 31 assists.

Jordan Binnington and Thomas Greiss have split time between the whistle this season, although Binnington has performed most of the heavyweight division and has an 18-16-3 record with a 3.28 goals versus average and an .891 save percentage set up. Greiss is 5-6-0 with 3.16 GAA and 0.912 SV%.

Binnington has started the last five games for the Blues.

Player to watch: Tarasenko has 20 points in 23 games against the Coyotes, but keep an eye on defenseman Justin Faulk, who also did well against Arizona with eight goals and 10 assists in 28 games. The 30-year-old blue liner has 372 points in 808 career games spent for both the Blues and Carolina Hurricanes.


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