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, Ariz.-Sometimes winning a game depends not on how you’re playing or where you’re playing, but when you’re playing.And right now doesn’t appear to be the best time to be playing the Arizona Coyotes. The Tampa Bay Lightning already found that out, and now the Ottawa Senators must contend with an opponent that’s playing its best hockey in seasons.The Coyotes (5-5-0) were shut out three times while losing four of their first five games, an all-too-reminiscent beginning much like that of their 0-10-1 start a season ago. But they’ve since starting scoring goals – and winning – and they’ll go for their fourth consecutive victory and fifth in six games against the Senators (4-4-2) on Tuesday at Gila River Arena.Article continues below ...The Coyotes had only one four-game winning streak last season, from Feb. 12-17.“In the beginning (of the season), a lot of games we lost we played good, structured hockey and kept teams to low scores and low shots on nets but we just weren’t scoring,” forward Michael Grabner said. “The puck’s going in for a lot of guys now and it makes it a lot easier … a lot easier to be confident.”Arizona caught the Lightning at the right time Saturday, playing the second half of a difficult back-to-back without injured Norris Trophy winner Victor Hedman and forward Ondrej Palat. The result was a 7-1 Coyotes victory that included two more short-handed goals, both by Grabner, giving them four such goals in two games – by most by an NHL team since the New York Islanders also scored four in 2000.“We’re No. 2 (in penalty-killing) and we’re taking pride in it, which is nice,” said coach Rick Tocchet, whose team has scored 22 goals in the past five games. “A long way to go, but I like the way they’re doing it.”“We’ve got a lot of veteran guys Authentic Taylor Hall Jersey
, guys who have killed (penalties) a lot,” said defenseman Alex Goligoski, who has a goal and two assists in the last two games. “We’re going out there, going through our reads, and stuff’s been working out – and we’re burying pucks, too.”Especially second-year forward Clayton Keller, who has five goals in the past five games. He leads the team with seven points in two games. Thomas Chabot leads the Senators with 13 points (3 goals, 10 assists) in 10 games.Now, the Senators come in on a three-game losing streak, and off a difficult 4-3 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday decided by a rare overtime penalty shot, by Jonathan Marchessault. The Coyotes are playing the third game of a five-game homestand having outscored Vancouver (4-1) and Tampa Bay (7-1) by a combined 11-2 in the first two games. Both opponents were coming off games against Vegas the night before.“Obviously, it was a tough schedule,” Lightning forward Ryan Callahan said.But an advantageous one for the Coyotes. Then again, maybe the NHL schedule makers owed Arizona a break after giving them 21 road games among their first 33 games last season.Ottawa is 0-1-1 so far on a three-game road trip, but center Matt Duchene prefers to look at the upside.“It’s a big point (at Vegas) and we’re staying at .500 Womens Will Butcher Jersey
,” said Duchene, who has four goals and seven assists in 10 games. “If we get a win at Arizona it’s a solid road trip and we’ll go back home and get ready for the next challenge.” Jason Botterill has experienced both sides of the spectrum in confronting the challenges of building a competitive NHL team versus trying to sustain one.In Buffalo, the Sabres’ second-year general manager is attempting to rebuild from scratch a team in the midst of a franchise-worst, seven-year playoff drought. In his previous job as assistant GM in Pittsburgh, the test was keeping together a Sidney Crosby-led core of a team that became the first in nearly 20 years to repeat as Stanley Cup champions in 2016-17.Botterill noted the common denominator for both comes down to scouting.“You’re always searching for talent,” Botterill said. “So it gets back to the importance of finding players that are going to join your system.”Teams at the bottom need to stockpile young talent, and hope it eventually jells. The Sabres, for example, enter this season with the top new player to watch in 18-year-old defenseman Rasmus Dahlin , the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft.Other rebuilding teams are counting on their youngsters to make immediate impacts.In Ottawa, the Senators are turning to rookie first-round pick Brady Tkachuk. In Vancouver, there’s center Elias Pettersson. The Carolina Hurricanes, meanwhile, are counting on forward Andrei Svechnikov, the No. 2 pick http://www.officialislanders.com/authentic-adidas-adam-pelech-jersey
, to help a franchise snap a nine-season playoff drought — the NHL’s longest active streak.There’s pressure on the league’s elite, too.Winning teams lack the luxury of high draft picks, and are required to discover hidden gems in the draft and signing European and college free agents.As Penguins GM Jim Rutherford also noted, the NHL’s salary-cap system means successful teams have a more difficult time retaining their own talent.“You want to keep those players, but you can’t,” Rutherford said. “We went through it two years ago when we lost a bunch of real key players. There’s nothing to do about it. You can’t.”Valuable as they were, forward Chris Kunitz, goalie Marc Andre-Fleury, defensemen Eric Fehr and Ian Cole, and in this offseason’s case, forward Conor Sheary, were among the players the Penguins were unable to retain.Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman, who won nine Stanley Cup titles between three teams, said the salary cap makes it more difficult to maintain a contender, though it’s not all that different since winning his first championship with the 1973 Montreal Canadiens.“The challenge is you have to have players coming in the front door Anders Lee Jersey
,” Bowman said. “When I was in Montreal, they had a slogan that was in the dressing room. It said ‘And the kids go marching on.’ That was 50 years ago, but it’s so much more now.”A list of some of the top newcomers (and one familiar returnee) to look out for this season:RASMUS DAHLIN, Buffalo Sabres defensemanHe’s a smooth-skating, heads-up play-making Swedish-born blue-liner, who has shown a fearless ability of jumping into the rush. Dahlin will require time to adapt to the smaller NHL ice surface and has shown signs of being a little too cavalier with the puck in committing turnovers. He is improving as a defender, and expected to quarterback the top power-play unit. The Sabres intend to allow Dahlin to learn from his mistakes in giving him plenty of playing time this year.ELIAS PETTERSSON, Vancouver Canucks centerWith Vancouver’s 2018 first-round draft pick defenseman Quinn Hughes committed to playing this season at Michigan, there’s plenty of buzz over Pettersson, the No. 5 overall pick in 2017. He’s coming off a season in which he helped Vaxjo win the Swedish Elite League championship and earned regular-season and playoff MVP honors.RYAN DONATO, Boston Bruins forwardAfter spending three seasons playing at Harvard for his father, former NHL player Ted Donato, the 22-year-old got a head start on his NHL career by scoring five goals and nine points in 12 games for the Bruins last season.WARREN FOEGELE, Carolina Hurricanes left wingThough the jury remains out as to whether Svechnikov will spend the entire season in Carolina, the Hurricanes are high on Foegele Andrew Ladd Jersey
, their 2014 third-round pick.“He’s what we want in a Hurricane,” first-year coach Rod Brind’Amour told The Charlotte Observer this week. Foegele had two goals and an assist in his first two NHL games last season, and also finished second in AHL Charlotte with 28 goals as a rookie.BRADY TKACHUK, Ottawa Senators forwardSelected with the No. 4 pick in the draft, the son of former NHL star Keith Tkachuk is considered a key building block of a Senators team rebuilding from scratch. At 19, he overcame a slow start in his freshman year at Boston University to score eight goals and 31 points in 40 games. Ottawa’s youth movement also includes Colin White, a 2015 first-round pick, who had two goals and four assists in 21 NHL games last season.ILYA KOVALCHUK, Los Angeles Kings left wingHe’s back. After spending the past five seasons playing in the Kontinental Hockey League, the NHL’s 2001 No. 1 draft pick has returned to North America after signing a three-year contract with the Kings. At 35, Kovalchuk showed he’s not lost a step in splitting two Vegas defenseman and scoring his first preseason goal in a 7-2 loss last week. Kovalchuk has 417 goals and 816 points in 816 career games.