NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Coyotes vs. Senators (March 14)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images. Pictured: Clayton Keller
- The Senators host the Coyotes as home favorites in Ottawa on Monday night.
- Can you trust the Senators to cover given their issues in net?
- Our analyst breaks down the matchup and shares her best bet below.
Coyotes vs. Senators Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Two non-playoff teams get center stage on Monday, as the Arizona Coyotes visit the Ottawa Senators for the only game on the day’s NHL schedule.
But fear not. This game should have some excellent entertainment value.
When these two sides met in Glendale on March 5, the Coyotes jumped out to a 4-0 lead. Then, Ottawa stormed back with five straight goals before Arizona responded with four more to take the 8-5 win.
The Coyotes are averaging a league-high 5.20 goals per game so far in March, with a 4-1-0 record. The Senators have won two of their last three as their roster continues to get healthier.
One week out from the trade deadline, where both squads could do some selling, here’s the latest on Arizona and Ottawa and your best bet for the game.
Coyotes Offense Finding its Form
After spending a good part of the year as the NHL’s lowest-scoring team, Arizona’s recent offensive explosion has basically coincided with the club’s acquisition of power forward Nick Ritchie. He was obtained from Toronto in a trade on Feb. 19.
After managing just nine points in 33 games with the Leafs this season, Ritchie has six points in seven games with the Coyotes. But that pales in comparison to Nick Schmaltz, who has 23 points in 13 games since the All-Star break, including seven points in that game against the Sens. Clayton Keller also has 18 points in 13 games.
But even through this stretch of high-scoring games and winning outcomes, the Coyotes’ underlying numbers are still pretty bleak. They’re second-worst in Corsi For percentage and Expected Goals percentage at 5-on-5 since the All-Star Break. And their special teams are just as grim — just 10.7% on the Power Play and 75% on the Penalty Kill.
But netminders Scott Wedgewood and Karel Vejmelka have combined for a team Save Percentage of 91.48%, which ranks eighth-best in the league. The the Coyotes’ team shooting percentage is a league-best 13.48%, which gives them the best PDO in the NHL since early February — a measure of good luck as much as anything else.
The Coyotes also have a long list of players out with injuries. Most recently, Christian Fischer has been listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury. However, potential trade target Jakob Chychrun has now returned to Phoenix for an MRI after leaving Saturday’s game in Boston with a lower-body issue.
Can the Senators Survive Without Murray?
Midway through a five-game homestand, the Senators are coming off a 6-3 loss to Chicago on Saturday, after edging Seattle 4-3 in overtime on Thursday.
Goaltender Matt Murray is back on the injured list, and while forward Drake Batherson is skating, he’s not quite ready to return yet from his high-ankle sprain. Josh Norris and Colin White have provided nice boosts to the Senators’ offense since re-joining the lineup. White has five points in eight games and Norris has six in six.
The Sens have been the busiest team in the NHL since the All-Star break and have cobbled together a record of 7-10-1 in those 18 games. Through that stretch, their 5-on-5 possession numbers have still been in the bottom half of the league. But like with Arizona, a team Save Percentage of 91.47% has helped them pick up some wins.
Murray was sidelined after taking that 8-5 loss in Arizona nine days ago. Anton Forsberg has been carrying the load in net since then, playing four games in a week.
We may see AHL call-up Filip Gustavsson against the Coyotes on Monday. He’s 3-9-1 at the NHL level this season but gave his team a very solid start in his most recent game with the Senators — a 2-1 loss to Igor Shesterkin and the New York Rangers on Feb. 20.
Coyotes vs. Senators Pick
The Arizona Coyotes’ inflated PDO is an unmistakable sign that they’re due to regress at some point. But they’re playing an Ottawa team that they trounced very recently, which will have either a tired goalie or an AHLer in net. And even in their one-goal loss to a very good Boston team on Saturday night, Arizona showed the kind of resilience and confidence that can carry a team a long way.
As an added bonus — the sportsbooks still have the Coyotes as the underdog, at significant plus money as of Sunday night. Chychrun’s injury might be helping to fuel that. He’s been good lately, but he hasn’t been the only engine that has been making the team go.
Back the desert dogs, then tune in to see if the Coyotes and Senators deliver another crazy goal-fest in Ottawa on Monday — and if Schmaltz can somehow build on his seven-point outburst.
The over of 6 looks pretty tasty, too.
Pick: Coyotes Moneyline +140 | play down to +100