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Game #27 Preview: Arizona at Vegas

Coyotes match-up against their desert counterpart as they look to extend intra-division point streak

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Game Preview

GAME #27: ARIZONA (15-8-3) at VEGAS (12-11-4)

4:00 PM MST - T-Mobile Arena | Las Vegas, NV

TV: Fox Sports Arizona Plus (Matt McConnell, Tyson Nash, Todd Walsh)

Radio: Fox Sports 910 AM Phoenix (Bob Heethuis)

Referees: Michael Markovic #47, Steve Kozari #40

Linesmen: David Brisebois #96, Travis Gawryletz #67

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ARIZONA AT VEGAS

The Coyotes transition out of the Thanksgiving Holiday with a late-afternoon match-up against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena, marking the second of the teams' five scheduled meetings this season.

Arizona will return to T-Mobile Arena on December 28 and March 25 while Vegas returns to Gila River Arena on March 18.

Coming off a 4-3 shootout win over the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night, the Coyotes sit just two points behind the first place Edmonton Oilers, who remain idle today. The Coyotes can match the Oilers' 35-point total with a win but will remain in second place regardless.

The Golden Knights are coming off a rather thrilling 4-3 overtime win over the Nashville Predators on Wednesday. Max Pacioretty tied the game with :0.3 seconds remaining in regulation and Paul Stastny netted the overtime winner to snap Vegas' three-game losing streak.

No details have been shared regarding a starting goaltender or any anticipated changes to the lineup; head coach Rick Tocchet will address the media two hours prior to puck drop to provide any insight in regard.

Arizona remains atop the NHL with a 2.31 GA/G median while Darcy Kuemper (.932) and Antti Raanta (.926) continue to rank among the league's top ten in save percentage among qualified goaltenders.

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THREE THINGS

PACIFIC POINTS: The Coyotes have earned a point in eight straight games (6-0-2) against Pacific Division opponents this season, which is tied for the second-longest streak against intra-division teams in franchise history. The Coyotes/Jets franchise has three times earned points in 10 consecutive games against division opponents (9-0-0-1 in 1981/82, 8-0-2 in 2011/12, 8-0-2 in 2015-16).

FIRST GOAL FACTOR: Following Wednesday's win, the Coyotes improved to 9-1-1 when scoring the first goal in a game. They are, however, respectably impressive when allowing the game's opening goal; only three teams (NYI, WPG, TOR) have more wins when trailing first than the Coyotes' six. The Golden Knights are 2-8-3 when their opponent opens the scoring and 1-7-0 when trailing after the first period.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Starting today, the Coyotes will play five of their next six games on the road, including a four-game swing through the Midwest to begin the month of December. Arizona has earned points in 10 of its 13 road games (8-3-2) this season and in seven of its last eight (6-1-1) away from Gila River Arena. Only three teams (WSH - 10, WPG - 9, EDM - 9) have more road wins than the Coyotes' eight this season. Though it's still very early, the Coyotes are on pace for 25 road wins; they have not won 20 or more road games during a single season since the 2011-12 campaign, when the posted a 20-14-7 mark away from home.

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LAST TIME AROUND

OCTOBER 10, 2019 - ARIZONA (4) vs. VEGAS (1)

The Coyotes skated to their first victory of the season in the teams' previous meeting in October 10 at Gila River Arena, beating the Golden Knights by a 4-1 score.

Conor Garland and Nick Schmaltz scored first period goals; Garland added another in the second period. Stay-at-home stalwart Niklas Hjalmarsson snapped his 92-game goalless drought late in the middle frame to net Arizona's final tally of the evening.

Darcy Kuemper stopped 37 of the 38 shots he faced to earn the winning decision.

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NUMBER TO KNOW

TEN (10)

Derek Stepan is one of only seven players to have recorded at least 10 points against the Vegas Golden Knights since the club's 2017-18 inception.

The 29-year-old forward is averaging a point-per-game against the Golden Knights, registering 10 (5G, 5A) in 10 career games, with six (3G, 3A) of those coming at Vegas' T-Mobile Arena.

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QUICK HITS

  • Vinnie Hinostroza enters the game with a four-game point streak (2G, 2A), Christian Fischer with a three-game point streak (2G, 1A).
  • Vegas' Marc-Andre Fleury and Arizona's Darcy Kuemper each have two shutouts this season, tied for the league lead.
  • Alex Goligoski is one of only five players to lead his respective team's defensemen in points (15) and blocked shots (57).
  • The Coyotes' 6.6 PIM/G is the second-lowest in the NHL (WPG - 6.1 PIM/G).
  • Max Pacioretty leads the Golden Knights in assists (16) and points (25).
  • Phil Kessel has five goals and six points in five career games against the Golden Knights.
  • The Coyotes are 10-1-2 this season when Clayton Keller records a point.
  • Arizona owns a 4-3-3 all-time record against Vegas.

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Lead Photo Credit: David Becker - Getty Images // Footer Photo Credit: David Becker - Getty Images // GIF Highlight Footage: Fox Sports Arizona

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