Arizona Coyotes (36–33–7) vs Chicago Blackhawks (33–32–10)
Gila River Arena
Chicago (20.6%, 11th)
Arizona (16.7%, 23rd)
Chicago (73.3%, 31st)
Arizona (85.5%, 1st)
Chicago (32.6, 11th; 34.7, 30th)
Arizona (30.4, 22nd; 30.7, 12th)
Chicago (10.1%, 8th)
Arizona (8.4%, 26th)
Chicago (49.5%, T19th)
Arizona (47.4%, T29th)
Chicago 6’1”, 195lbs
Arizona 6’1” 194lbs
The Blackhawks will pay a visit to the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night, giving rise to yet another playoff-like match-up for the Blackhawks. After taking two valuable points on Sunday against the Avalanche, the Blackhawks are setting up for a chance, although very slim, at the playoffs.
The Blackhawks perfect scenario over the weekend would have been to take all four points from the Avalanche. Instead, the Blackhawks only took two points, while the Avalanche took three of a possible four and maintained a nice gap between themselves and the Blackhawks. The Blackhawks have dug themselves a pretty deep hole.
A wing and two points are critical against the Coyotes on Tuesday night. Otherwise, this team is as good as dead in the playoff race and can start focusing on a hopeful draft lottery surprise.
The Coyotes value this game just as much as the Blackhawks do. Sitting two points back of Colorado, the Coyotes need a win to keep pace with the Avalanche. Minnesota is nipping at the Coyotes’ heels, as are the Blackhawks, so the Coyotes need all the cushion they can get while trying to catch Colorado.
Darcy Kuemper, although very good this season, was lit up the last time the Coyotes played the Blackhawks. It will be intriguing to see which version of Kuemper shows up. If it’s the version who showed up in Chicago two weeks ago, the Blackhawks could be looking at another victory to keep their playoff dreams alive.