Preview: Coyotes vs. Flyers, 5:30 p.m., FOX Sports Arizona

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GLENDALE, Ariz. — Finally, the NHL schedule maker is showing some sympathy for the Arizona Coyotes, who certainly didn’t get much of that way back when the season started.

But this weekend won’t provide much of a break for the Philadelphia Flyers, who, unlike the Coyotes, are chasing the playoffs — and find themselves in a potentially pivotal and crowded stretch of games.

The Flyers, who currently own one of the two Eastern Conference wild-card positions, already have played four games this month, and now they’ll play two important ones that begin only 23 hours apart Saturday night at Arizona and Sunday night at the Vegas Golden Knights.

If that wasn’t challenging enough for the Flyers (26-19-9), who’ve won their last two, they’ll jet home cross-country to play the New Jersey Devils at home on Tuesday, then go back on the road for two more games.

That’s why Flyers coach Dave Hakstol is convinced his team will be focused on business during an unusual three-day trip out West. Normally, Eastern teams play at least a couple of more games either coming or going on any trip that takes them across three times zones.

“There’s pluses and minuses,” Hakstol told “The negative is we’re going in on a back-to-back. It’s a 23-hour turnaround against a (Golden Knights) team that hasn’t played in a few days. They’re in their own building. That’s the challenge by nature of this trip, there shouldn’t be any of those Vegas distractions, so I don’t think it’s something we need to talk about (with the players).”

But what about an Arizona distraction? The Flyers had one of those earlier this season; after starting the season with 11 consecutive losses and an 0-10-1 record, the Coyotes gained their first victory of the season 4-3 in overtime at Philadelphia on Oct. 30.

Not many victories have followed for the Coyotes. They’ve won only three of their last 12, but they showed some resiliency by rallying from a three-goal deficit to beat the Minnesota Wild 4-3 on the road Thursday.

Nick Cousins scored two goals, one with the goaltender pulled and only 18.3 seconds remaining to tie in the third period, and rookie Clayton Keller scored the game-winner in overtime.

Now, the Coyotes (13-32-9) will play nine of their next 10 at Gila River Arena, where they are only 6-16-3 this season. The problem for them hasn’t been just winning on home ice but playing there; they were on the road for 21 games in the first two months of the season alone.

That terrible start effectively ended the Coyotes’ playoff chances even before November arrived, but Cousins said that doesn’t mean they’re not motivated to play well the rest of February and in March and April.

“It’s a tough year wins and losses-wise,” Cousins said. “I think it’s important we bottle up these feelings and remember how nice it is after a win and try to make a push for locking up those (wins) towards the end of the season.”

Center Travis Konecny scored two goals, team scoring leader Jakob Voracek (63 points) scored another — he has at least a point in seven consecutive games — and center Claude Giroux and defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere had three points apiece in Philadelphia’s 6-4 decision over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday. Goaltender Brian Elliott (21-11-7) won his fourth in a row.

Keller’s game-winning goal against Minnesota was much welcomed by the rookie forward, who leads the Coyotes with 37 points. He had gone 12 consecutive games without a goal since scoring against Anaheim on Dec. 31. Goaltender Antti Raanta made 25 saves and now is 9-14-5.