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Game #51 Preview: Arizona at Edmonton

Taylor Hall returns to Edmonton, Antti Raanta expected to be ready, Coyotes play final game ahead of bye week

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Game Preview

GAME #51: ARIZONA (26-19-5) at EDMONTON (25-18-5)

1:00 PM MST - Rogers Place | Edmonton, AB

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

Radio: Fox Sports 910 AM Phoenix (Bob Heethuis)

Referees: Chris Schlenker #3, Gord Dwyer #19

Linesmen: Trent Knorr #83, Bevan Mills #53

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ARIZONA AT EDMONTON

The Coyotes play their final game ahead of the bye week and All-Star break this afternoon as they take on the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place, marking the third of four scheduled meetings between the teams this season.

Edmonton will return to Gila River Arena on February 4 to complete the season series.

The Coyotes are coming off of a 3-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday to extend their road losing streak to three games (0-3-0), the longest of such this season.

With Taylor Hall in tow and against his former team, the Coyotes will look to put an end to that road skid. Hall has six points (3G, 3A) in his last three games.

"It's been a while since I've played important games like this," Hall told Edmonton media following Wednesday's practice. "To come out for a game and know that it's a four-point game, know that it's a team you're really battling against in the standings, it's a lot of fun, and that's really what hockey's all about."

The Oilers, two points behind the Coyotes in the standings, are coming off of a 4-2 win over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday and have now earned points in six of their last seven games (5-1-1).

Though he has not yet been confirmed the starter, Antti Raanta is expected to be ready to return to the Coyotes' net today following the assignment of Ivan Prosvetov to the Tucson Roadrunners on Friday. Head coach Rick Tocchet will provide further lineup details two hours prior to puck drop, which will be updated here.

Defenseman Kyle Capobianco was recalled from the Roadrunners on Friday to provide insurance for Jordan Oesterle , who is deemed day-to-day with a lower body injury.

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THREE THINGS

HALL'S IN THE HOUSE: Taylor Hall will return to play in Edmonton for just the fourth time since he was traded by the Oilers to the New Jersey Devils on June 29, 2016. Hall was selected #1 overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the Oilers and recorded 328 points (132G, 196A) in 381 games with Edmonton over the course of six seasons. Hall, who has 14 points (6G, 8A) in 15 games with the Coyotes, has yet to earn a win in Edmonton as a visiting player; he went 0-2-1 as a member of the New Jersey Devils.

TWO'S COMPANY: The top five teams in the Pacific Division are separated by a slim two-point margin, and all five of those clubs are in action today. The Coyotes could finish as high as first-place or as low as fifth-place at day's end. Arizona (57) plays fifth-place Edmonton (55), while first-place Calgary (57) plays Ottawa, third-place Vancover (56) plays San Jose, and fourth-place Vegas (56) plays Montreal.

RAANTA'S RETURN?: Should Antti Raanta be given the green light this afternoon, it would serve as his 21st start of the season and his first in four games. Raanta, who has been sidelined with a lower-body injury since January 10, currently owns a 9-9-2 record on the year with a 2.72 GAA and a .919 SV%. He has been practicing with the team since Wednesday and has yet to play against Edmonton this season. Raanta's last start against the Oilers came on February 17, 2018, a 40-save shutout performance that fueled a 1-0 Coyotes win.

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LAST TIME AROUND

NOVEMBER 24, 2019 - ARIZONA (3) vs. EDMONTON (4) F/SO

The Coyotes suffered their first shootout loss of the season in the teams' previous meeting on November 24 at Gila River Arena, falling by a 4-3 final.

Carl Soderberg , Christian Fischer , and Vinnie Hinostroza scored for the Coyotes in regulation, but the team was unable to connect to find the back of the net during overtime or the shootout. Edmonton scored once in the shootout while all three of Arizona's attempts were denied.

Darcy Kuemper made a total of 34 saves in regulation and overtime.

Arizona is 1-0-1 against Edmonton this season.

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NUMBER TO KNOW

THIRTEEN (13)

Derek Stepan leads the Coyotes in scoring against Pacific Division teams this season with 13 points (6G, 7A), including the overtime game-winning goal against the Oilers in the teams' first meeting of the year on November 4, a 3-2 OT victory at Edmonton's Rogers Place.

The Coyotes enter the day with a 9-5-3 record against intra-divisional opponents this year.

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QUICK HITS

  • Oliver Ekman-Larsson has 27 points (10G, 17A) in 38-career games against the Oilers.
  • Arizona is 17-3-1 this season when scoring a PPG.
  • Edmonton is 19-4-2 when scoring the first goal of a game this season.
  • The Coyotes are 17-1-2 when leading after two periods of play this season.
  • Connor McDavid (74) and Leon Draisaitl (73) lead the NHL in scoring.
  • Christian Dvorak enters the day with a three-game point streak (1G, 2A).
  • Arizona owns an 83-97-11-12 all-time record against Edmonton.

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Lead Photo Credit: Ethan Miller - Getty Images // Footer Photo Credit: Andy Devlin - NHLI via Getty Images // GIF Highlight Footage: Fox Sports Arizona

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