Season series: This is the fifth and final meeting between these Pacific Division clubs. The Kings hold the advantage with a 3-1-0 record this season and are 2-1-2 in their last five regular-season games played at Jobing.com Arena.
Big story: Los Angeles wraps up a five-game road trip Tuesday in Phoenix and hopes to extend its point streak to five. The Coyotes have been reeling recently with just one win in their last nine games, including two straight losses to the Kings.
Coyotes: While Phoenix has not quite dominated at home, with just a 10-7-1 record this season, it also hasn't suffered a three-game losing streak at Jobing.com Arena in 2012-13. The team will try to avoid that third loss as it welcomes the Kings to the desert.
“Rivalries are created when you play teams in the playoffs. I really believe that,” Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said after Monday's practice. “Playing them last year in the playoffs - and we’ve had some tight games against them this year - that’s certainly something that’s fresh in everybody’s mind.”
The Coyotes have been without starting goalie Mike Smith since March 21 with an upper-body injury, and will need backup goalie Jason LaBarbera to turn it up considerably if they want to get back into playoff contention. The former Kings goalie surrendered 13 goals over his last four starts.
Phoenix will enter the game in 13th place in the Western Conference standings, four points behind eighth-place St. Louis.
“The guys are pushing,” Tippett said. “Guys are still believing here we can get it done. That’s the attitude every day where we’ll just do whatever we can to make sure we do our best and see if we get the results we need.”
Kings: Los Angeles had dropped two straight home games by shutout before embarking on its current five-game road trip, so it has to be happy with the positive results away from Staples Center. A 3-2 win at the Dallas Stars on Sunday gave the Kings a 3-0-1 start on the trip.
Forward Brad Richardson returned to the lineup to play his first game since Feb. 10 as he was a healthy scratch for 32 of the Kings 35 games this season. Richardson and Justin Williams scored over a minute apart from each other in the third period to help Los Angeles to the victory.
"(Richardson provided) some energy and some speed," Head Coach Darryl Sutter told reporters after the game. "Him and I have a good relationship and I feel bad not playing him. He's a guy that can play anywhere in your lineup. It's been hard for him."
Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin was named Rookie of the Month for March on Monday. He notched four goals, seven assists and a plus-10 rating in 17 games last month.
Who's hot: Doan has four goals and an assist in Phoenix's first four games against the Kings this season. ... Williams is in the midst of a three-game goal scoring streak for the Kings.
Injury report: Coyotes forward Lauri Korpikoski (upper body) has missed the past three games and remains day-to-day. Smith and defenseman Zbynek Michalek (lower body) are on injured reserve. ... The Kings are missing defensemen Willie Mitchell (knee) and Matt Greene (back). …
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