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Game #47 Preview: Arizona at Carolina

The Coyotes wrap-up their three-game road trip tonight against the Hurricanes

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Game Preview

GAME #47: ARIZONA (25-17-4) at CAROLINA (25-16-2)

5:30 PM MST - PNC Arena | Raleigh, NC

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

Radio: Fox Sports 910 AM Phoenix (Bob Heethuis)

Referees: Kelly Sutherland #11, Mitch Dunning #43

Linesmen: Scott Driscoll #68, Brad Kovachik #71

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ARIZONA AT CAROLINA

The Coyotes conclude their three-game road trip tonight when they take on the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena, marking the first of the teams' two scheduled meetings this season.

Carolina will travel to Gila River Arena on February 6 to complete the season series.

Through the first two games of the road trip, the Coyotes have posted a 1-1-0 record. They are coming off of a 4-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning last night, only the third time they've been shut out this season.

Arizona maintains the second-best road record in the NHL, coming into tonight's affair with a 14-7-3 mark in opposing buildings.

The Hurricanes are amidst a seven-game home stand, where they've posted a 3-2-0 record thus far. Carolina is coming off of a 5-4 overtime win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday to improve its overall home record to 13-8-0.

A starting goaltender has not been announced for tonight's game, nor have specifications regarding any changes to the Coyotes' lineup. Head coach Rick Tocchet will address the media two hours prior to puck drop.

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THREE THINGS

CLOSE QUARTERS: Situated in extremely tight ranks, the Coyotes maintained their first-place Pacific Division positioning following last night's defeat. The top four teams (1/ Arizona - 54, 2 / Vegas - 54, 3 / Edmonton - 53, 4 / Calgary - 53) in the Pacific are all now within one point of each other. Tonight presents a valuable opportunity for the Coyotes to create space in the standings, as they are the only Pacific team slated to play this evening.

SHORTHANDED STRENGTH: The Coyotes, who were able to keep the Tampa Bay Lightning's top-ranked power play off the board last night despite the loss, have now killed off 16 consecutive penalties dating back to December 28. Since December 14, Arizona leads the NHL with a 93.3 PK%, successfully killing off 29 of their 31 penalties during that span. The Coyotes enter the night as the NHL's least-penalized team, averaging 6.5 PIM/G.

FIRST-GOAL FACTOR: The Coyotes and Hurricanes have certainly proven to both embrace early leads, both clubs' records heavily trending toward the win column when striking to score a given game's first goal. The Coyotes have the third-best record in the NHL when striking first, posting a 19-4-1 mark in such games; the Hurricanes are 18-3-0. The teams' records are almost identical when surrendering a game's opening goal; the Coyotes 6-13-3 and the Hurricanes 7-13-2.

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LAST TIME AROUND

DECEMBER 16, 2018 - ARIZONA (0) at CAROLINA (3)

The Coyotes suffered what was their fifth shutout loss of the 2018-19 campaign during the teams' previous meeting on December 16 of last season at Carolina's PNC Arena.

Derek Stepan led the Coyotes in shots, accounting for four of Arizona's 23.

Adin Hill made 24 saves on 27 shots faced in the loss.

Arizona posted a 1-1-0 record against Carolina last season.

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NUMBER TO KNOW

FOUR HUNDRED (400)

Alex Goligoski enters tonight's game with 399 career NHL points, recording 79 goals and 320 assists during his 13-year career that has spanned 844 games with three different organizations.

He has 24 points (3G, 21A) on the year and has recorded 20-plus assists for the 11th consecutive season, becoming just one of three active defensemen to have achieved that feat.

In 21 career games against tonight's opponent, the Hurricanes, Goligoski has 14 points (4G, 10A), including a three-assist effort in a 4-3 OT win over Carolina on November 2 of last season.

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QUICK HITS

  • Phil Kessel has 30 points (12G, 18A) in 50 career games against the Hurricanes.
  • The Coyotes are 16-3-1 this season when scoring a power play goal.
  • Sebastian Aho leads the Hurricanes in goals scored (23).
  • Alex Goligoski leads the Coyotes in blocked shots this season with 87.
  • Carolina has outscored its opponents by a 75-60 margin on home ice.
  • The Coyotes are 18-3-1 this season when Carl Soderberg records a point.
  • Dougie Hamilton has 11 points (2G, 9A) in 20 career games against the Coyotes.
  • Arizona owns a 32-35-8-5 all-time record against Carolina.

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Lead Photo Credit: Greg Thompson - Icon Sportswire via Getty Images // Footer Photo Credit: Greg Thompson - Icon Sportswire via Getty Images // GIF Highlight Footage: Fox Sports Arizona

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