Colorado is on the verge of losing its 15th consecutive game away from home, and is inching closer to a franchise record of 18 straight losses on the road. Phoenix can capitalize on the visitor’s offensive woes while closing the gap separating them from St. Louis, the team occupying the last playoff spot.
Match: Phoenix vs Colorado
Odds: William Hill 2.00
The Coyotes have lost several games due to poor goaltending, but with Smith expected to return after missing for two straight weeks, Phoenix should concede fewer goals tonight. The team won three out of the last five games and both defeats occurred in overtime against a red-hot Minnesota and San Jose. During this stretch, they set a new record for the season, by beating Nashville 7-4 and should carry that offensive prowess in the game against Colorado. Mike Smith has been particularly sharp and won 5 straight games in the series, so even if the forwards fail to outshot the visitors, he could carry his team.
League worst Colorado is still in the race for the playoffs but another defeat would pretty much seal their fate, as they need to close a 13 points gap. With nothing to lose, coach Joe Sacco can experiment and send Semyon Varlamov on the ice despite his atrocious percentage against the Coyotes. He aims to create a synergy among starting players and the goalkeeper remains an important piece in this puzzle.
Colorado is expected to come out firing and throw everything at the Coyotes, but having Smith in the net should help the hosts contain the visitors. William Hill prices a home victory in regulation time at even odds, and there is plenty of value to warrant a wager on Phoenix to prevail in 60 minutes.