Arizona Coyotes vs. New York Islanders, 01/07/17 – Prediction
Written by: Stephen Sobek
New York Islanders (15-22 SU, 20-15-2 O/U) vs. Arizona Coyotes (11-28 SU, 12-24-3 O/U)
NHL: Saturday, January 7 @ 8:00 p.m. ET
The Line: N/A Total: N/A
The New York Islanders will wrap up a four-game road trip on Saturday night when they face the Arizona Coyotes in Gila River Arena. The Islanders played yesterday in Colorado, walking away with one point in a 2-1 heartbreaking overtime loss. The Coyotes also fell in dramatic fashion in OT, as they’ve now lost nine consecutive contests.
Finally Kept Quiet
Friday night marked the first time since December 18th that the New York Islanders were held to less than four goals in a single game. That was mainly due to an outstanding performance by Avs’ goaltender Calvin Pickard, who denied all but one of New York’s 36 shots on net. The Islanders converted once in a little under six minutes on the man-advantage courtesy of Johnny Boychuk’s fifth goal of the season. The visitors squandered a 5-on-3 towards the end of the second period, which ultimately kept the score tied at one until Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon lit the lamp with just 16 seconds to go in overtime.
A 2-1 scoreline is a bit unfamiliar for New York, but they’ll need to rebound quickly offensively against one of the NHL’s worst all-around squads in Arizona. John Tavares leads the Islanders in points on the year with 27 and is one of only three New York skaters with more than 20 points total. Those numbers aren’t too great, but they aren’t nearly as troubling as the team’s goals against average of 3.1 per game, which is third worst in the entire NHL.
The way the Arizona Coyotes lost their ninth straight game on Friday night pretty much sums up their entire streak, and season for that matter. Goaltender Mike Smith’s stick broke while attempting to clear a puck, resulting in a wide open net for Anaheim’s Ondrej Kase and a devastating 3-2 overtime loss for the visiting Coyotes. Head coach Dave Tippett was still pleased with his team’s effort given some extenuating circumstances: “We battled hard. We were down three players in the third period. We were short-handed because of injury. We played with an unbelievable amount of desperation and hung in there. It’s too bad we couldn’t get the win.”
Arizona was only able to generate 23 shots on goal throughout the game, as the Ducks compiled 35 in total. Martin Hanzal and Oliver Ekman-Larsson had the tallies for the Coyotes, but it still wasn’t enough to get the job done. You have to wonder just how much energy this Arizona team will have left after getting demoralized less than 24 hours before Saturday’s puck drop.
The Islanders are:
- 4-1 in the last 5 meetings with Arizona
The Coyotes are:
- 1-6 in their last 7 games playing on 0 days rest
- 0-4 in their last 4 games following OT on the previous day
The Arizona Coyotes have been abysmal on the second half of back-to-backs, so I expect the visiting New York Islanders to hand them their tenth loss in-a-row. John Tavares will see plenty of scoring opportunities on Saturday for New York, as he’ll look to improve upon his team-leading point total. I really like the Islanders to collect both points in dominating fashion.
The Pick: New York Islanders
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