NHL Preview and Free Pick
Arizona is in St. Louis for a contest scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET on Enterprise Center ice. The Blues will be without Vladimir Tarasenko and his club-leading 28 goals. The Blues are reportedly giving rookie Robert Thomas a spot in the top line with Ryan O’Reilly and Brayden Schenn. The defensive-minded Coyotes were ambushed by offensive juggernaut Chicago by a 7-1 final on Monday. NHL Preview and Free Pick: Blues vs Coyotes Under.
Give goaltender Darcy Kuemper (22-16-5, .918 save percentage) a pass in Monday night’s loss to the Blackhawks. The Arizona netminder entered Monday with nine victories in his last 10 starts. This before surrendering four goals on 16 shots versus Chicago before giving way to backup Calvin Pickard.
The Coyotes are everything but a threat to put crooked numbers on the scoreboard. Clayton Keller was kept off the score-sheet versus the defensively inept Chicago lines. but has recorded six of his team-high 44 points in the last eight contests.
Without Tarasenko, who is second on the team with 58 points, the Blues will scuffle to threaten with their first line. Schenn (13 goals, 44 points) has only scored on power play opportunities since missing six games with an upper-body injury. Rookie goaltender Jordan Binnington (16-3-1, 1.80 goals-against on the season is expected to be in net tonight.
Keep the Coyotes from having a man-advantage and the team is easily contained. Arizona is 5-for-11 on the power play in its last three contests. Conversely Arizona is second in the league in penalty killing (85.1 percent) after going 4-for-4 in its last three games.