Dec 7, 2022 | 7:30 p.m. MST | Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta
TV: Bally Sports Arizona Extra | Radio: KTAR 92.3 FM
After today’s game against the Oilers in Edmonton, the Arizona Coyotes return home for their first home game in over a month.
But first things first, because Wednesday sees Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and the Edmonton Oilers’ offensive juggernaut.
The Coyotes last conceded a 3-2 decision against the Calgary Flames led by Blue Liners on Monday Shayne Gostisbehere and Jacob Chychrun, who both met in the game. The two have combined for 13 points in their last six games, with Chychrun recording three goals and three assists while Gostisbehere has one goal and six assists.
Gostisbehere, 29, has been sensational ever since Joined Arizona by trade ahead of the 2021-22 season with 68 points in his 105 games in the desert. He’s just one assist away from his 50th assist as a member of the Coyotes.
The veterans weren’t the only ones to find the scorers list, however Matthew Maccelli has continued to open eyes across the league. The 22-year-old leads all NHL rookies in assists (15) and is second in total points (17), points per game (.81), power play assists (7), and power play points (8).
Maccelli played 23 games for the Coyotes last season in which he scored six points.
Backup Connor Ingram is expected to start tonight. He has not started since a 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Nov. 27, where he made 25 saves on 29 shots, and is 1-5-1 on 4.02 goals conceded and 0.882 percent this season.
Player to watch: Forward Nick Bjugstad continues to work hard in all the difficult areas and despite not scoring in three games, he set a critical screen against Gostisbehere’s goal against the Flames after a faceoff win. The 30-year-old has six points in his last seven games and is averaging almost 16 minutes of ice time in each game.
ABOUT THE OILERS
Edmonton starts Wednesday 14-12-0 and fourth in the Pacific Division, a somewhat surprising stat given the team’s offensive firepower. The Oilers are led by McDavid, whose 48 points, 22 goals and 26 assists lead the team. In addition to leading the league’s points race, McDavid also leads in points per game (1.85), goals scored (18.7) and hat tricks (2).
His counterpart, Leon Draisaitl, is not far behind. The 27-year-old has 17 goals and 25 assists this season and also tops the table in power-play goals (10) and winning goals (6).
Edmonton’s power play is extremely effective as they currently sit third in the league at 29.03 percent. The team’s problems have mainly been in defence, where it sits 28th and 27th respectively on penalties (70.30 percent) and goals allowed per game (3.58).
Goaltender Stuart Skinner is expected to start tonight and has posted a 7-6-0 record with 2.93 GAA and 0.916 SV% in 14 games this season. He started Edmonton’s last two games – a 5-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens on December 3 and most recently a 3-2 loss to the Washington Capitals on Monday.
Edmonton and Arizona will meet twice more this season: on March 22 at Rogers Place and March 27 at Mullett Arena.
Player to watch: Keep an eye on none other than McDavid, who continues to come up with numbers for the Oilers at a Herculean pace. At 25, he already has 745 points with 261 goals and 484 assists in just 513 games played — all with Edmonton — and has five 100-point seasons, including 123 last season.