Golden Knights vs Coyotes Live : The Arizona Coyotes and the Vegas Golden Knights meet in NHL action from the T-Mobile Arena on Thursday night. The Arizona Coyotes will look to keep their playoff hopes alive after a 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings in their last outing. The game was scoreless through the first period before Brad Richardson broke the deadlock, giving Arizona a 1-0 lead late in the 2nd. Los Angeles would tie the game at the last second of the 2nd period, sending us to the 3rd tied at one. Los Angeles would strike twice more in the 3rd period to send Arizona home empty-handed. Darcy Kuemper took the loss falling to 26-20-8 after allowing a pair of goals on 18 shots faced in the losing effort.
The Vegas Golden Knights will look to build some momentum after snapping a 5-game losing streak with a 3-1 win over Edmonton last time out. Cody Eakin opened the scoring for Vegas with the lone goal of the opening period before Jonathan Marchessault doubled the lead in the first minute of the 2nd period. Edmonton pulled one back just over three minutes later, but that’s as close as the Oilers would get as Pierre-Edouard Bellemare would add an empty net goal late in the 3rd period to seal the victory. Malcolm Subban got the win to improve to 8-10-2 after stopping 18 of 19 shots faced in the winning effort.
Arizona is 2-7 in their last 9 games overall and 45-95 in their last 140 road games while the under is 5-0 in their last 5 games against a team with a winning record. Vegas is 7-2 in their last 9 home games and 1-5 in their last 6 games overall while the under is 4-1 in their last 5 games as a favorite. Arizona is 2-6 in the last 8 meetings between these two teams.
Arizona needs a win here to keep their slim playoff hopes alive, sitting four points back with two games to go. However, the Coyotes appear to have run out of gas and are going to fall short of that goal. Vegas is one of the stronger home teams in the league and will be looking to avoid falling into the wild card zone, so I’ll lay the juice with Vegas in this spot.
It remains unclear exactly what injury Marc-Andre Fleury suffered that caused him to miss nearly three weeks.
But the Golden Knights’ goaltender did clarify his time away from the ice because of what the team referred to as a “lower-body injury” had nothing to do with the birth of his third child on March 22.
Other than that, his first full media session since taking the ice again on Monday did little to explain his absence.
“Some rehab, some training, some resting,” he said after Wednesday’s practice at City National Arena. “Fortunately, we’re in a good playoff spot and I got some time to heal and feel better.”
There is a strong chance Fleury will play when the Knights host Arizona at 7 p.m. Thursday, a move signaled by his participation in practice Wednesday and Maxime Lagace being sent back to the minors on Tuesday.
Fleury declined comment on whether he could have played sooner if the games carried significance in the standings or if the postseason had started earlier.
He hopes to regain the form he flashed in allowing just five goals in winning six straight games leading up to a 2-1 win in Dallas on March 15. The 34-year-old Fleury, who was leading the league in games played at that time, missed practice the next day and hasn’t played since.
“It was a good stretch and we had a little bit of a tougher stretch before that,” he said. “It’s good when you can bounce back and start to feel good about yourself and confident, but that’s how it goes sometimes and now you just have to try to pick up where you left off.”
There’s not much time for that.
The Knights, who are locked into a first-round playoff series starting in San Jose next week, have two regular season games left for Fleury to shake off any rust.