Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Arizona Coyotes

Hey, Game Day! - Vegas, Kid

Barrett Hayton makes his NHL debut tonight against the Vegas Golden Knights

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Arizona Coyotes

Game #3: Arizona (0-2-0) vs. Vegas (2-1-0)

7:00 PM MST - Gila River Arena | Glendale, Arizona

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

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

Referees: Kelly Sutherland #11, Justin St. Pierre #12

Linesmen: Kiel Murchison #79, Trent Knorr #63

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

> VEGAS, KID <

The first of five games against the Vegas Golden Knights, and the first NHL game for Barrett Hayton .

The latter is a tad-bit more exclusive.

Not to take away from tonight's match-up, but the Coyotes are set to dress the fifth-overall selection from the 2018 NHL Draft as they seek their first win of the season against a familiar Pacific Division desert foe.

Rick Tocchet, after confirming to media during morning skate availability, was firm and direct in saying that the 19-year-old is "ready to go." He will become the 12th player from the '18 draft class to play in an NHL game tonight. More on Hayton below.

As far as those Golden Knights go, they too suffered a one-goal loss to the Bruins following two wins against the San Jose Sharks to start the season. Vegas' defeat came by way of a 4-3 score to Boston at home on Tuesday. The Bruins scored four straight goals in response to an early two-goal lead built by the Golden Knights.

"They're a very good hockey club," Tocchet said of tonight's opponent. "Their forwards are high-end, they're 7-8 guys deep as far as players who really know how to put the puck in the back of the net. We have a certain style we like to play against them. They're a rival, there should be intensity out there, and if we execute our game plan, that where our success will come."

Darcy Kuemper will make his third straight start tonight.

Antti Raanta will make his first start of the season on Saturday in Colorado.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

> THREE THOUGHTS <

YOU'RE UP, KID: As noted above, Barrett Hayton will make his NHL debut tonight. He skated on a line with Christian Dvorak and Nick Schmaltz during Wednesday's practice and took rotations with the top power play unit. He is expected to eat minutes on the man advantage, as Rick Tocchet mentioned in his morning skate availability. "He's got a great shot and goes to the net; he's sticky player with a really good hockey IQ."

STAYING HOME: Despite the Coyotes' early struggles to put up multiple goals, they have stayed responsible in their own zone to maintain a strong defensive presence, allowing only a combined three goals through two games, tied with the Anaheim Ducks and Philadelphia Flyers for the fewest goals-against the NHL. The Golden Knights are averaging 4.00 goals per game, having scored a total of 12 in three games played.

FOR THREE: Ranked fourth among NHL goaltenders who have played in at least two games so far this season in GAA (1.54) and SV% (.945), Darcy Kuemper is set to make his third start tonight. He has stopped 52 of the 55 shots he's faced so far this season, and in his last two starts made against the Golden Knights last year - both wins - he turned away 78 of the combined 81 shots Vegas fired his way.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

> LAST TIME AROUND <

April 4, 2019 - Arizona (4) at Vegas (1)

Derek Stepan potted a pair of goals from close range during the second period of the teams' previous regular season meeting on April 4, 2019 at Vegas' T-Mobile Arena, a 4-1 Coyotes win.

Stepan's markers upped the Coyotes' lead to 3-1 as the team continued to work its way back from, and past, an early deficit. Conor Garland added with just under eight minutes to play to give the Coyotes a 4-1 advantage, the night's eventual final score.

Darcy Kuemper took on a high volume of shots, but was strong with the task, making 37 saves to earn his 27th win of the 2018-19 season.

Despite the winning outcome, this was also the night the Coyotes were eliminated from the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs due to the results of the concurrent game between the Colorado Avalanche and Winnipeg Jets.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

> NUMBER TO KNOW <

TEN (10)

Following a season in which he produced handily against Vegas, Derek Stepan comes into the night ranked third among NHL players in career points against the Golden Knights, totaling 10 (5G, 5A) in nine match-ups against the Coyotes' desert rival. Only Edmonton's Connor McDavid and Calgary's Matthew Tkachuk have registered more than Stepan's 10.

In four games against the Golden Knights last season, he finished with six points (4G, 2A), including two multi-goal performances.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

> PHOTO FINISH <

Phil Kessel and Clayton Keller take a breather on Monday afternoon at Gila River Arena as practice winds down. The two forwards finished with a team-high five shots apiece in Saturday's home opener against the Boston Bruins. (Photo: Kevin Anggara / Arizona Coyotes)

View More