Coyotes return home looking to end losing woes

By Jesse Bonello (@jessebonello)

Vancouver Canucks forward Brandon Sutter scores in a penalty shot against Arizona Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith during the third period at Rogers Arena. Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks forward Brandon Sutter scores in a penalty shot against Arizona Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith during the third period at Rogers Arena.
Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Coyotes return home to take on the New York Islanders, and they’re looking to end their nine-game losing streak.

The Coyotes are coming off of a close, but crushing, 3-2 overtime loss in Anaheim last night.

Mike Smith made some big saves, but a stick handling blunder by Smith led to the overtime winner for the Ducks.

The Coyotes fought hard in their loss to the Ducks, and they’re looking to take many positives into tonight’s game against the Islanders.

The Islanders are tied with Buffalo with 37 points at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, and they’re coming off of a 2-1 loss against the last place Colorado Avalanche.

One name to watch for on the Islanders is Anders Lee.

Lee has 13 goals since Nov. 23. His 13 goals in that time frame is the fourth most in the league behind Max Pacioretty (14), Sidney Crosby (14) and Auston Matthews (15).

Radim Vrbata leads the Coyotes with 24 points (nine goals, 15 assists). Vrbata also leads the team in home scoring this season with five goals and eight assists.

Anthony Duclair has struggled this year but he’s coming off of a solid performance against the Ducks. Duclair picked up two assists last night, and he now has four points in his last five games.

The Coyotes did not hold a morning skate on Saturday. They’ll likely announce their starting goalie when head coach Dave Tippett addresses the media a few hours before puck drop.

Tonight’s game starts at 8 p.m. EST.

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