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Flyers vs. Coyotes preview: Lowly Arizona might be perfect medicine

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The Flyers' winning streak was cut short at three against Peter Laviolette's Predators on Saturday, but perhaps the lowly Coyotes can get them back on the right track.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Flyers three game winning streak was snapped on Saturday against Peter Laviolette's Predators. Luckily, the Coyotes are up next and they are currently the third worst team in hockey. Some notes on tonight's game:

  • In case you weren't aware they are the Arizona Coyotes now, not the Phoenix Coyotes. I'm sure the name change will now draw fans across the entire state as opposed to just the city of Phoenix and save the Coyotes.
  • The Coyotes are 3-6-1 in their last 10 including losing five in a row at one point.
  • Despite only being in year two of Mike Smith's six-year, $34 million contract (those are not typos), Devyn Dubnyk has been getting the majority of the starts lately -- five of the last six.
  • After missing some time due to injury, it appears Steve Mason may be ready to return to the net. Ray Emery and Rob Zepp managed to win three of fourin his absence despite numbers that weren't all that great.
  • Pierre-Edouard Bellemare has a minor injury, but should be good to go tonight. If he's not, Zac Rinaldo will probably find his way back into the lineup.
  • Arizona has a pretty good power play, ranking 11th in the league. That could potentially be an issue for the Flyers' next-to-last ranked penalty kill. It was especially bad against the Predators on Saturday night when the Flyers only killed two of five penalties.
  • The good news is Arizona's penalty kill is almost as bad as they sit at 28th as compared to the Flyers' 29th ranked unit. That could bode well for the Flyers' even better power play unit that currently sits as the seventh best in the league.
  • Arizona is led by a couple of impressive defenseman in Keith Yandle and Oliver Ekman-Larsson. In fact, Yandle leads the Coyotes in points with 23 points in 35 games.
  • Neither the Coyotes nor the Flyers are particularly good at even strength from a puck possesion perspective. The Coyotes are 23rd in the league in Corsi percentage (which measures the percentage of total shot attempts that the team gets) whereas the Flyers are ranked 24th.
  • The Flyers next five games are all very winnable (Coyotes, Avalanche, Hurricanes, Devils, and Senators). All five of those teams (six if you include the Flyers) are within the worst nine teams in hockey. It would behoove the Flyers to start this stretch off with a win. (You know...momentum and everything.)
  • Get more from the Arizona perspective at Five For Howling.