Preview: Coyotes return home Sunday to host Golden Knights

January 22, 2023 | 6:00 p.m. MST | Mullett Arena, Tempe, Ariz.
TV: Bally Sports Arizona Extra | Radio: ESPN 620AM

The Arizona Coyotes return home from a short trip to Dallas to host the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday, playing their second game in as many nights.

Vegas is the second straight top-seeded team the Coyotes will play as the Golden Knights currently lead the Pacific Division by 60 points.

Sunday also marks the debut of Arizona’s brand new Desert Night third jersey, designed by global fashion designer and apparel label RHUDE founder Rhuigi Villase├▒or. The Coyotes will wear their new threads a total of 14 times this season.

Tweet from @ArizonaCoyotes: The sun has set. The desert night is here. ­čîÁLearn more ­čîÁ https://t.co/[email protected] | @PlayAtGila | @adidashockey pic.twitter.com/WewNy3Hkdo

Arizona and Vegas meet for the third and final time today as the Golden Knights won the first two games of the series – both in Vegas – 4-1 on Nov. 17 and 5-2 on Dec. 21.

However, the last time the two teams met in Arizona, the Coyotes prevailed by two goals Nick Schmaltz. Schmaltz has scored eight goals against the Golden Knights, more than he has scored against an NHL team.

Starting line-ups have not yet been determined, goalkeeper Karel Wejmelka is expected to consider launching Connor Ingram played on Saturday. The 26-year-old goaltender is 6-4-2 at home this season but has yet to beat Vegas in his career.

Player to watch: Schmaltz has four assists in addition to his eight goals in 18 career games against Vegas, so keep an eye on him while the Coyotes look for the scoreboard. It won’t be an easy task for Arizona, who only have three players in their roster who scored against the Golden Knights’ tandem of Adin Hill and Logan Thompson.

ABOUT THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS
Vegas has lost three of its last four games but most recently defeated the Washington Capitals 6-2 on Saturday.

Both Mark Stone (currently injured) and Alex Pietrangelo have four points against the Coyotes this season, while Jonathan Marchessault and Chandler Stephenson have three points each.

In fact, Stephenson leads all Golden Knights with 42 points and 31 assists this season, while winger Reilly Smith has 18 goals this year. Between the whistles, Thompson played both matches against the Coyotes earlier this season and is 19-12-1 with a 2.70 clean sheet average and a .913 save percentage.

Hill, who has played 49 games in four seasons in Arizona, is 10-4-1 with a 2.71 GAA and 0.905 SV%.

Player to watch: Pietrangelo is in the middle of a stellar season, having one goal and two assists in his last two games. The 33-year-old defenseman has eight goals and 23 assists in 45 career games against Arizona.



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