Necas and Keller: Key Players to Watch in Carolina Hurricanes vs. Arizona Coyotes Game

Necas and Keller Key Players to Watch in Carolina Hurricanes vs. Arizona Coyotes Game

Welcome to NHL On Tap, where we explore the most thrilling matchups of the day. Today, we have our sights set on the Carolina Hurricanes and the Arizona Coyotes facing off at Mullett Arena. Get ready for an electrifying showdown on the ice, scheduled for 9 p.m. ET and broadcasting on SCRIPPS, BSSO, NHLN, SN, and TVAS.

The Carolina Hurricanes have an impressive roster of scorers, with Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen, and Andrei Svechnikov leading the charge. However, one player who has been turning heads lately is Martin Necas. This 25-year-old forward has been on fire, scoring four goals in his last five games. His most notable performance came in a thrilling 5-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on February 8, where he scored a natural hat trick in the first period. Necas is currently the third highest scorer for the Hurricanes, with 35 points (16 goals, 19 assists) in 47 games. Although his numbers have dropped slightly compared to his breakout season last year, where he recorded a career-high 71 points (28 goals, 43 assists) in 82 games, Necas remains a crucial component for Carolina as they push for a playoff spot. Since returning from an upper-body injury, he has racked up nine points (seven goals, two assists) in just nine games. The Hurricanes are optimistic that Necas will continue his hot streak and contribute to their success on Friday night.

On the other side of the rink, the Arizona Coyotes have had a challenging season, plagued by inconsistency and frustration. They are currently on a seven-game losing streak (0-6-1) and are desperate for a spark. Fortunately, they have Clayton Keller to rely on. The 25-year-old forward is on the cusp of reaching the 50-point milestone for the season, with 21 goals and 28 assists in 52 games. If Keller manages to secure a point in Friday’s game, he will join an exclusive group of players in Coyotes history who have achieved four or more 50-point seasons. This elite club includes Shane Doan (11 times), Jeremy Roenick (five times), Keith Tkachuk (four times), and Radim Vrbata (four times). Despite being the team’s leading scorer, Keller was unable to score in their recent 3-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild. However, with a track record that includes 65 points (23 goals, 42 assists) in 82 games in 2017-18, 63 points (28 goals, 35 assists) in 67 games in 2021-22, and a career-high 86 points (37 goals, 49 assists) in 82 games last season, Keller has proven that he has the ability to make a significant impact. As the No. 7 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, he has accumulated an impressive 391 points (154 goals, 237 assists) in 494 games. Keller will undoubtedly be determined to lead the Coyotes to victory and continue etching his name in their record books.

Although all eyes may be on Connor Bedard as the standout rookie for the Chicago Blackhawks this season, let’s not forget about Logan Cooley of the Coyotes. The 19-year-old forward is making a name for himself as a rising star in the league. Cooley showcased his talent by scoring the lone goal for the Coyotes in their recent game against the Wild. With 26 points (seven goals, 19 assists) in 52 games, Cooley has established himself as a promising young player. He forms a dynamic line alongside Barrett Hayton (23 years old) and Dylan Guenther (20 years old), highlighting the Coyotes’ budding talent. Despite Arizona’s struggles during their losing skid, Cooley represents a bright future for the organization.

As we eagerly anticipate the Hurricanes and Coyotes facing off, it’s worth noting that Carolina had been on a hot streak, winning five of their last six games before a 4-2 loss to the Dallas Stars on Tuesday. Additionally, Jaccob Slavin of the Hurricanes is closing in on a significant milestone. He needs just one point to tie Justin Faulk as the defenseman with the most points in Carolina/Hartford Whalers history. Slavin has amassed an impressive 257 points (47 goals, 210 assists) in 636 games. Faulk, now a defenseman for the St. Louis Blues, played for Carolina from 2011 to 2019, accumulating 258 points (85 goals, 173 assists) in 559 games. It will be intriguing to see if Slavin can make history in Friday’s game.

On the other side of the rink, the Coyotes will have to navigate the absence of goaltender Connor Ingram, who left the previous game against the Wild with an undisclosed injury. With Ingram set to be out week to week, the Coyotes will have to rely on their backup netminders to step up and fill the void.

Get ready for an action-packed game as the Hurricanes and Coyotes battle for supremacy on the ice. Will Martin Necas continue his scoring spree for the Hurricanes, or will Clayton Keller lead the Coyotes to end their losing streak? Keep an eye out for Logan Cooley as he strives to make his mark as a rookie sensation. Be sure to tune in and catch all the thrilling moments of this highly anticipated matchup.