GLENDALE, AZ -- Heading into Wednesday's game against the Vancouver Canucks, the Arizona Coyotes wanted to tighten up defensively.
In their previous four games, the Coyotes had allowed five or more goals and were less than pleased with the number and quality of scoring chances they were giving up on a nightly basis.
They were able limit the Canucks to two goals but in turn, their offensive production sputtered and they fell 2-1 to Vancouver.
"I don't think we went to the net really hard like we have to go at this time of the year," Martin Hanzal told ArizonaCoyotes.com. "That's how you score the goals."
The offensive and defensive inconsistencies come at an inopportune time for the Coyotes, who have been bumped out of a playoff spot by the Anaheim Ducks. They have lost five straight contests and nine of their last 11 outings.
"We’re letting points slip away," head coach Dave Tippett told his team's website after Wednesday's setback. "We know exactly what we have to do, and the points we have to gain. It hasn’t been very fruitful lately."
Tonight's divisional match-up is crucial on both sides; the Flames are just three points back of the Coyotes and are desperately trying to climb up the Western Conference ladder while Arizona needs to put a halt to their skid if they want to make up ground in the division.
Even with their current slide, the Coyotes can enter Friday night's game with a bit of confidence. After dropping all five games to the Flames last year, they have won both of the games they have played against Calgary this year. Martin Hanzal and Oliver Ekman-Larsson have scored in both games for the Coyotes
The Flames are led by Johnny Gaudreau (one goal, one assist) and Mark Giordano (one goal, one assist) in this year's season series.
BREAKING DOWN THE COYOTES
Power Play: 18.2 percent overall (36 goals scored in 198 chances with the man advantage), 20 percent at home (22 goals scored in 110 chances with the man advantage)
Penalty Kill: 77.2 percent overall (43 goals allowed in 189 times being short-handed), 72.8 percent at home (28 goals allowed in 103 times being short-handed)
2015-16 Record vs. the Flames: 2-0-0
2014-15 Record vs. the Flames: 0-5-0
Notable Injuries: Mike Smith, Joe Vitale
Who's HOT: Martin Hanzal
The forward scored his seventh goal of the year on Wednesday night and now has three points in his last five games. In three of his last four games, he hasn't dipped below 59 percent in the face-off circle and has logged plenty of ice time for his team.
Hanzal has scored twice against the Flames in the two games the two teams have played this year.
Honourable Mention: Oliver Ekman-Larsson
In his last three games, Ekman-Larsson has one goal and four points. While he was held off the scoresheet against Vancouver on Wednesday, he tied a career-high with nine shots on net in the 2-1 setback.
The defenceman leads the Coyotes in scoring this season with 15 goals and 38 points. He has scored two of his goals against the Flames this year.
Who's NOT: Mikkel Boedker
The Coyotes second-leading scorer has just two points in his last 10 games and has just one goal since Dec. 29. In his last five games, Boedker is a minus-eight and has six shots on net.
In the season series against Calgary, the 26-year-old has one assist against the Flames.