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Game #44 Preview: Arizona vs. Philadelphia

Antti Raanta to make his seventh-straight start, Coyotes players to wear #OskarStrong undershirts in support of Flyers' Lindblom

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Game Preview

GAME #44: ARIZONA (23-16-4) vs. PHILADELPHIA (22-14-5)

6:00 PM MST - Gila River Arena | Glendale, AZ

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

Radio: Fox Sports 910 AM Phoenix (Bob Heethuis, Paul Bissonnette)

Referees: Steve Kozari #40, Chris Schlenker #3

Linesmen: Bryan Pancich #94, Kiel Murchison #79

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ARIZONA VS. PHILADELPHIA

The Coyotes complete their four-game home stand tonight when they host the Philadelphia Flyers at Gila River Arena, marking the second and final regular season meeting between the teams.

In seeking their third-straight win, the Coyotes are coming off of a 4-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night, scoring three third period goals to oust their Pacific Division counterpart.

"To lose a few in a row and bounce back is good," head coach Rick Tocchet said. "If you look right now, a lot of teams are winning, notably in our division, and you've got to keep pace. Obviously, you want good results, but for me it's about the consistency in our game, focusing on playing consistent hockey."

The Flyers are coming off of a 5-4 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday. Philadelphia has dropped its last two games and is 1-3-0 so far on its six-game road trip.

Antti Raanta will make his 18th start of the season tonight, Tocchet confirmed following the morning skate. The team is expected to go with the same lineup it used in its previous two games.

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THREE THINGS

HOME COOKIN': The Coyotes have risen back to .500 on home ice (10-10-1) with two-straight wins, and will look to finish their four-game home stand with a third. "It's a point of emphasis when we talk as a group to improve our home record and make it a tough place to play for other teams," said Taylor Hall . "I feel like the last couple of games we've played well, and that's important down the stretch here. We have a lot of home games and a pretty favorable schedule that hopefully we can take advantage of."

#OSKARSTRONG: Coyotes players will sport undershirts tonight in support of Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom, who in December was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer. The shirts, which read 'OSKAR STRONG' with his #23 in the background, were distributed following the morning skate. "This is something way bigger than the game," Jakob Chychrun said. "We want to see Oskar get healthy, it's way beyond hockey and we want to support."

POWERFUL PK: The Coyotes have held opponents' power plays scoreless in eight of their previous nine games, only giving up two man-advantage tallies during that span, successfully killing off 22-of-24. Arizona's penalty kill ranks seventh in the NHL with an 82.5 PK% and its home penalty kill ranks third in the NHL with an 88.7 PK%. The Coyotes are tied with the San Jose Sharks for the fewest home power play goals allowed (6). Since December 14, Arizona ranks second in the NHL with a 91.7 PK%.

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LAST TIME AROUND

DECEMBER 5, 2019 - ARIZONA (3) at PHILADELPHIA (1)

The Coyotes handed the Flyers their second and only home regulation loss of the season in the teams' previous meeting on December 5 at Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center, a 3-1 win.

The victory, at the time, moved the Coyotes into first-place in the Pacific Division.

Phil Kessel scored two goals, one in the first period and an empty-netter late in the third period. Conor Garland potted Arizona's second goal of the game early in the third.

Darcy Kuemper stopped 28 of the 29 shots he faced to earn the win.

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NUMBER TO KNOW

FOURTEEN (14)

The Coyotes have capitalized on the power play in 18 games this year, winning 14 of those contests. Arizona enters the night with a 14-3-1 mark when scoring a power play goal.

Phil Kessel leads the team in power play goals with six, including two against the Flyers in the teams' previous meeting, and is tied with Clayton Keller for the team lead in power play points with 11.

The Coyotes' power play is currently ranked 14th in the NHL with a 19.9% conversion rate. The Flyers' penalty kill is currently ranked 14th in the NHL with a 81.0% kill rate.

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QUICK HITS

  • Taylor Hall has 23 points (10G, 13A) in 19 career games against the Flyers.
  • The Coyotes' +85 first period shot differential leads the NHL.
  • Travis Konecny leads the Flyers in scoring with 36 points (12G, 24A).
  • Alex Goligoski is two points shy of 400 career NHL points.
  • The Flyers are 9-12-1 on the road this season.
  • Clayton Keller has 17 points (6G, 11A) in his past 20 games.
  • Arizona owns a 32-44-2-4 all-time record against Philadelphia.

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Lead Photo Credit: Norm Hall - NHLI via Getty Images // Footer Photo Credit: Norm Hall - NHLI via Getty Images // GIF Highlight Footage: Fox Sports Arizona

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