These two teams come both having played on Wednesday, but seeing very different performances. Both Dave Tippett and Shane Doan noted how flat the Coyotes played on Wednesday in their 3-0 loss, failing to beat a lowly Devils squad. The Rangers, however, rode a four-goal third period to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins on the road.
After allowing three goals against the Devils on Wednesday, Ilya Bryzgalov is expected to play backup to Jason LaBarbera. LaBarbera has started just five games this season, but has looked very solid in his last two starts, allowing just three goals combined in his last two.
In the Ranger net, Henrik Lundqvist is expected to start for New York, despite getting the start on Wednesday. On the season, Lundqvist has posted a .921 save percentage and 2.40 GAA. The Swedish goaltender has allowed just one goal in his last 59 shots faced, shutting out the Washington Capitals, and allowing the one goal to the Pens on Wednesday in his last pair of starts.
All systems are go for the Coyotes on the injury front, but the Rangers were hit with bad news after their win at Pittsburgh. Ryan Callahan, who is second on the team in points, will miss multiple weeks after breaking his hand against the Pens.
The key for the Coyotes will be getting on the board first. With just a .214 winning percentage when their opponent scores first, Phoenix has shown an inability to come back when they're down. Wednesday night presented a perfect example, with the Coyotes getting down early and failing to show much beyond that.
The blue line will have to be better. They're going up against a more dynamic group of forwards than they saw in New Jersey, a group that includes names like Brandon Dubinsky and Marian Gaborik. Four of the six Coyote defensemen finished with a minus rating in Wednesday's loss.
With the Coyotes showing an inability to keep a struggling team down, playing against a team that has outscored two of the Eastern Conference's best by a count of 11-1 in their last two could be just what the doctor ordered. Puck drops at 7 ET, as the Yotes look to grab their first win of this road trip.