Arizona Coyotes vs. Detroit Red Wings Pick & Prediction MARCH 8th 2024

The Detroit Red Wings were riding high just a week ago. Following a three-game losing streak, the Red Wings are now feeling a sense of urgency.

They will look for a turnaround against the Arizona Coyotes on Friday night in Tempe, Ariz.

The first of Detroit’s recent defeats, a 5-3 setback to the New York Islanders, ended a six-game winning streak. The Red Wings’ offense was then silenced by league-leading Florida 4-0 on Saturday. Team captain and first-line center Dylan Larkin sustained a lower-body injury against the Panthers and will miss at least two weeks of action.

Detroit then started a four-game road trip on Wednesday, and the Red Wings’ defense was shredded by Colorado, 7-2.

The Avalanche do that to many opponents — they lead the league an average of with 3.70 goals per game, and they sit comfortably in a postseason position.

The Coyotes, though, are next to last in the Central Division, and Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said his club can’t afford to lose to teams outside the playoff picture.

“We have to win,” Lalonde said. “There’s no shame losing to Florida and this (Colorado) team, but back-to-back and now you’re looking at three straight losses. Bottom line, if we want to stay in the battle, we have to stop the bleeding.”

The Avalanche put constant pressure on the Detroit defense, and the Red Wings folded under the pressure. The game was tied 2-2 after the first period, but Colorado scored three unanswered goals in the second to take command. Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar notched his first career hat trick and NHL points leader Nathan MacKinnon recorded a goal and three assists.

Colorado had 54 shots on goal, nearly twice as many as Detroit.

“That’s a team that can expose you defensively, and they did that,” Red Wings defenseman Ben Chiarot said. “There’s a lot to work on and correct. We have to get that desperation we had. It’s obviously not there right now and we better get it back in a hurry.”

The Red Wings made things worse for themselves by giving Colorado six power-play opportunities, and the Avalanche converted twice.

“I just didn’t like how we gave their top guys two easy (goals) in the second period because they were obviously buzzing,” Lalonde said. “That second period got out of hand. We got overmatched and overwhelmed a little bit. We let their big guns have too easy of a night.”

The Coyotes will be playing the second game of a back-to-back set. They lost 5-2 to the visiting Minnesota Wild on Thursday in a game that was tighter than the score indicated.

The Wild clinched the victory with two empty-net goals in the last 1:12.

Arizona has played more competitively of late following a 14-game losing streak (0-12-2). They notched road victories over the Ottawa Senators and Washington Capitals last week before losing at home to the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 on Tuesday.

With Friday’s trade deadline looming, the Coyotes are looking to make moves and accumulate future assets. Defenseman Troy Stecher was dealt to the Edmonton Oilers for two draft picks on Thursday, and more trades are expected.

Arizona coach Andre Tourigny told his team to stay mentally tough.

“At the end of the day, distractions are part of our business,” he said. “It’s part of our game and you need to deal with it. That is part of the process.

“Our guys have to learn to live with that and still play good hockey. Be professional and play the game the right way. I’m not saying it’s easy, but who (cares) whether it’s easy or not. You need to do it.”

–Field Level Media

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