By Dave Vest
GLENDALE – The Coyotes will try to cap an unbeaten homestand Saturday night when they play the Los Angeles Kings at Jobing.com Arena. The puck drops at 6 p.m. (Arizona time).
The Coyotes have won the first three games of this four-game homestand and their past four games overall. Phoenix last won five consecutive games in the middle of the 2007-08 season.
“You’ve got to collect points and if you’re not collecting points at home you’re not going to have much of a chance to be a playoff team,” Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said after Friday's practice. "We’ve talked about (how) we want to be a strong home team and make this a hard place for teams to come in and play ... and we’ve been able to do that.”
Ilya Bryzgalov is expected to start in goal again for the Coyotes. Bryzgalov has started all but one of Phoenix’s eight games and has a 6-1-0 record and a 1.26 goals-against average.
Meanwhile, goalie Johnathan Quick has started nine of LA's 10 games and has a 6-3 record and a lofty 3.01 goals-against average. He is expected to play Saturday.
"...The focus needs to be there," Kings Head Coach Terry Murray told the team's official Web Site regarding Quick. "There is a responsibility with being the No. 1 goaltender. He clearly has to understand that."
The Kings enter the game with a two-game winning streak after losing three games in a row.
Phoenix beat Los Angeles, 6-3, in the season opener for both teams on Oct. 3. The Coyotes are hoping to win Saturday's rematch because a hectic three-game road trip awaits them starting Sunday morning with a long flight to New York City.
Coyotes defenseman Adrian Aucoin has four points in the past three games. He scored the game-winning goal in overtime on Thursday night to cap a come-form-behind victory over Detroit.
Kings center Anze Kopitar has notched six points in the past four games. He scored three goals vs. Dallas on Thursday night for his first career hat trick.
• Phoenix (6-2-0), Los Angeles (6-4-0) and Dallas (4-2-4) are tied atop the Pacific Division with 12 points each. All three teams failed to make the playoffs last season.
• Coyotes center Martin Hanzal likely will be asked to slow Kings center Anze Kopitar, who already has scored eight goals this season. "It's going to be a huge challenge again," Hanzal said. "Kopitar and (Ryan) Smyth have been playing really well together so far so it's going to be really hard."
• Go figure: The Coyotes have given up a league-low 12 goals this season and have won six games. The Kings have given up a league-high 33 goals and have won six games.
“I think our main focus now is to keep it going and obviously not sit back and let the points come to us."