|6:00 PM PT7:00 PM MT8:00 PM CT9:00 PM ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 PM MST9:00 PM EST6:00 UAE (+1)21:00 ETNaN:� BRT, February 7, 2019
Gila River Arena, Glendale, Arizona Attendance: 15,319
Blue Jackets aim to build momentum against Coyotes
Columbus Blue Jackets at Arizona Coyotes
- The Blue Jackets have killed 34 of 35 penalties over their last 14 games -- that one power-play goal allowed is tied for the club's fewest in a 14-game span in franchise history (also February/March 2013).
- Arizona lost, 5-2, in Nashville on Tuesday for its fourth straight loss (0-3-1). The Coyotes faced 47 shots on goal in the loss, their second most allowed this season -- they allowed 51 shots against the Hurricanes on November 2.
- The Blue Jackets have won seven of the eight meetings with the Coyotes dating back to the start of the 2015-16 season, but Arizona took the last meeting, 4-1, in Columbus on October 23. Columbus has won four of its last five trips to Arizona after losing eight of the previous 10 dating back to October 2008.
- Pierre-Luc Dubois scored two goals in Tuesday's win over the Avalanche, giving him four goals in as many games. He has 21 goals in 52 games this season -- one more than he had in 82 games as a rookie last season -- and his 48 points this season match last season's total.
- Derek Stepan lit the lamp in Tuesday's loss to the Predators, his 11th goal this season. He has 22 points (7g, 15a) in 21 career games against the Blue Jackets, including a three-assist effort in the Coyotes' 4-1 win on October 23.
- The Blue Jackets and Coyotes have each allowed 23 power-play goals this season, tied for the fewest in the NHL. Arizona's 85.3 percent penalty kill leads the NHL, while Columbus ranks fifth at 83.7 percent.
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It seemed like a month to Columbus coach John Tortorella, but Tuesday night's 6-3 victory at Colorado was actually the team's first in 21 days.
The Blue Jackets will try and make it two wins in a row on Thursday night when they face the slumping Arizona Coyotes in Glendale, Ariz.
Columbus used a three-goal third period to snap a five-game losing streak dating back to a 4-1 victory over New Jersey on Jan. 15, outshooting the Avalanche 19-5 in the final period and increasing its lead for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference to three points over Buffalo.
"Hopefully, we can build off that third period," Tortorella said in his postgame press conference. "You've got to remember we lose two before an eight-day break, (then) lose a few more. ... It's like we haven't won in it seems like a month. Hopefully, that third period, we have something to build off of."
Josh Anderson scored the game-winning goal to help Columbus start a three-game western road trip that ends Saturday against the Vegas Golden Knights.
Despite the Blue Jackets' recent slump, Columbus, which is an impressive 15-9-1 on the road, sits just five points behind first-place the New York Islanders in a very tight Metropolitan Division race and also is just a point behind third-place Pittsburgh.
"I just want us to start feeling good about ourselves," Tortorella said. "Hopefully getting a win like that ... will help propel us into Arizona."
Arizona, which is in fifth place in the Pacific Division, returns home with a four-game winless streak that began before the All-Star break and includes a 3-2 overtime loss at San Jose last Saturday. That was followed by a 5-4 loss at Dallas on Monday and a 5-2 defeat at Nashville on Tuesday.
Despite the tough start after the break, the Coyotes, who play four of their next five at home, are just three points out of the final Western Conference wild-card spot held by Vancouver and have a game in hand.
"We knew it was going to be a tough trip, the travel and all that stuff," Arizona coach Rick Tocchet said. "But winnable game at San Jose. Winnable game at Dallas. ... We needed 'that' play for somebody to win it for us."
"The first three games back I've really liked our energy," center Derek Stepan, who scored his 11th goal of the season in Tuesday night's loss, said. "I think the effort is there, and that's all that you can really ask for right now is making sure guys are competing hard. Execution things, those are things you have to continue to work on and watch film, get practice reps."
This is the second of two meetings between the two teams. Arizona won the first one, 4-1, on Oct. 23 in Columbus behind a hat trick by Christian Fischer, three assists by Stepan and 35 saves by Darcy Kuemper, who is listed as day-to-day for Thursday's rematch with an upper-body injury.
--Field Level Media
Updated February 6, 2019