Preview: Coyotes Open Road Trip in DC Against Capitals

Nov. 5, 2022 | 4:00 pm MST | Capital One Arena, Washington DC
TV: Bally Sports Arizona Extra | Radio: KTAR 92.3 FM

Cue up Willie Nelson, because the Arizona Coyotes are on the road again.

Fresh off a four-game homestand, the Coyotes kick off a 14-game road trip against the Washington Capitals in Washington DC on Saturday.

The stretch of games is tied for the longest in NHL history (the Vancouver Canucks also played 14 straight on the road in 2010), though the team will have the opportunity to return to The Valley during a few extended breaks between games.

Arizona (3-6-1) is 2-2-1 in its last five games, led by forward Lawson Crouse, who has scored in three consecutive contests. The 25-year-old leads the team with five goals, and has seven points in 10 games this season.

The Coyotes also announced earlier Saturday that 19-year-old Dylan Guenther will play in his 10th NHL game against the Capitals, officially triggering the first year of his entry-level contract.

Tweet from @ArizonaCoyotes: His smile says it all.

Guenther has impressed in his early career, as his six points place him in a tie for sixth among all NHL rookies.

22-year-old Matias Maccelli has also played well early in the season, as his seven assists are tied with Minnesota’s Calen Addison for the most among rookies. He’s also in a four-way tie for second place in total points.

Player to Watch: Barrett Hayton is still searching for his first point of the season, but has still been impressive away from the puck while winning critical faceoffs for the Coyotes. He’s expected to center a line between Guenther and Clayton Keller tonight, so keep an eye on the 22-year-old against the Capitals.

Washington (5-5-2) has dropped three straight games (0-1-2), losing its most recent game 3-1 to the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday. Alex Ovechkin’s 10 points and six goals lead the team, while former Coyotes forward Dylan Strome has the top team mark with seven assists.

The 37-year-old Ovechkin continues to play at the highest level, and his 1,420 career points are 19th-most all-time in the NHL. His 786 career goals are just 15 short of tying Gordie Howe’s mark as he continues to chase Wayne Gretzky’s all-time record of 894.

Ovechkin is coming off a 90-point season last year, and is showing no signs of slowing down.

Though rosters were not yet available prior to publishing, Darcy Kuemper has started nine of the Capitals’ 12 games this season, going 4-4-1 with a 2.35 goals-against average and .922 save percentage. The 32-year-old spent four seasons with the Coyotes, posting a 55-48-15 record from 2017-18 through 2020-21.

Charlie Lindgren has played in the team’s other three games, going 1-1-1 with a 3.03 GAA and .919 SV%.

Player to Watch: It’s impossible to not focus on Ovechkin, who is one of the most dangerous forwards to ever play the game. He’s especially dangerous on the power play, considering his 288 career goals with the man advantage are the most-ever scored by a player in the NHL. Even with the 10th-best penalty kill in the league this season, the Coyotes have their work cut out for them when shorthanded on Saturday.