Vancouver Canucks vs. Arizona Coyotes Pick & Prediction JANUARY 18th 2024

The Pacific Division-leading Vancouver Canucks return home to open a five-game homestand against the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night.

The Canucks concluded a seven-game road trip on Monday with a 4-3 shootout loss in Columbus. Vancouver has just one regulation loss in its last eight games (6-1-1) and is 7-2-1 over its past 10.

“It’s been a hell of a (road) trip. There’s been a lot thrown at the guys, and you can tell they’re mentally fatigued,” said Canucks coach Rick Tocchet. “To grind out a point at this stage, the seventh game, going home. I think it’s nice to get on that plane and get home.

“It’s nice to get home and reboot ourselves. Hell of a (road) trip. I’m really proud of the guys. You’ve got to give them a lot of credit (for) digging hard to get the point.”

The Canucks are 14-4-1 on home ice this season and have just one regulation loss in their last seven in Vancouver.

Center J.T. Miller is tied for fourth in the NHL with 60 points, and forward Brock Boeser is tied for fourth in league scoring with 27 goals. Left winger Elias Pettersson has eight goals and 10 points over his last six games.

Goaltender Thatcher Demko is 22-8-1 and has a 2.47 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage in 31 games this season.

Arizona enters Thursday’s contest following a 3-2 overtime loss to the Calgary Flames on Tuesday.

“I think we played a really solid game,” said Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny. “I think if you look at the scoring chances, you look at the shots, the looks, pace of the game, possession — it’s a good team on the other side. I thought we played one of our most complete games. I’m really happy.”

Thursday concludes a three-game road trip for the Coyotes. Arizona opened the trip with a 6-0 blanking of the Minnesota Wild on Saturday.

Arizona is 8-9-3 on the road this season, 4-5-1 in their past 10 games overall and has lost five of seven (2-4-1).

The Coyotes squandered a 2-0 third-period lead in Calgary. Defenseman Sean Durzi had a goal and an assist in the loss.

“Points are so important now this time of year, especially this next little stretch,” said Durzi. “We know that two points are everything. Obviously, it’s disappointing, but this time of year, we have to be able to, at least from my experience, move on. That’s it. What’s happened has happened.”

Coyotes forward Nick Schmaltz left Tuesday’s game in the second period with an undisclosed injury. Schmaltz is questionable for Thursday’s game and is considered day-to-day.

Arizona forward Clayton Keller has four goals and four assists in his last five games. Keller has a team-leading 17 goals and 39 points in 42 games this season.

Netminder Connor Ingram is 15-8-1 this season with a 2.52 GAA and a .918 save percentage in 27 games.

Thursday is the first of three meetings between the two clubs. Vancouver visits Arizona on April 3, and the Canucks and Coyotes conclude the season series on April 10 in Vancouver.

–Field Level Media

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