19.12.2022 | 8:00 p.m. MST | Mullett Arena, Tempe, Ariz.
TV: Bally Sports Arizona Extra | Radio: ESPN 620AM
The Arizona Coyotes end a three-game home game against the Montreal Canadiens on Monday in the second (and final) game between the teams this season.
The Coyotes dropped their last game at home against the Sabers but had previously won three straight games at Mullett Arena. Clayton KellerHe leads the team this season with 29 points, and he has scored at least a point in four of his last five games. The 24-year-old is currently on a four-game points streak against Montreal.
“We found a good rhythm here, especially at home, we play good hockey,” said defender Juuso Välimäki. “The start is crucial for us. We talked about it, if we take the lead and play well from the start we’re a pretty tough side to beat.”
goalie Karel Wejmelka has made at least 30 saves in each of his last four starts and won three of them. The 26-year-old is 9-8-3 with a 3.11 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage and two shutouts this season.
The Coyotes have also had a power play goal in three of their last four games, a promising trend for a team that started the season with a man advantage. On the other hand, Arizona has conceded just two goals in its last 14 penalty shootouts, although both came against the Sabers on Saturday.
“We definitely took too many penalties,” said Välimäki. “I think we’ve done a good job with that lately and we need to continue that.”
Player to watch: Forward Nick Schmaltz He has continued to produce at a high level since returning to the lineup on November 21st. He has seven points in his last five games and provided three assists in the Coyotes’ win over the New York Islanders on Friday.
ABOUT THE CANADIES
The Canadiens won the first matchup on Oct. 20, 6-2 after leading 5-0 in the first two periods, and six different Montreal players hit the back of the net in that game.
Montreal has endured a season of ups and downs, losing three straight games ahead of tonight and going 13-5 in that span. Forward Nick Suzuki leads with 31 points and 16 assists this year, while Cole Caufield tops the team with 18 goals.
Jake Allen has played 21 games this season and held a 9-12-0 record with 3.33 goals against average and 0.897 percent. Backup Sam Montembeault is 5-3-2 with 2.98 GAA and 0.908 SV%. Allen has been in the net in the team’s last two games.
Player to watch: Former Coyotes forward Christian Dvorak has been consistent all season for Montreal, recording two goals and two assists in his last seven games. The 26-year-old, who played 302 games for Arizona, has 13 points in 31 games this season.