By Dave Vest
The Coyotes will play the first game of a home-and-home series with the Los Angeles Kings tonight at the Staples Center. The puck drops at 8:30 p.m. (Arizona time).
Phoenix (23-15-9) will enter the game with a two-game losing streak and in sixth place in the Western Conference standings.
“It’s the little things that we have to do a better job of,” Captain Shane Doan
said after being asked what the Coyotes must do to rebound from consecutive losses to San Jose (4-2) and Nashville (5-2). “We can’t afford to give free goals away, and in the last couple games we feel like we’ve given away too many. And it’s too hard to generate offense on your own so you can’t be giving the other teams the opportunities we’ve been giving up.”
► EDITOR'S NOTE:
for tonight's TV info.
Coyotes defenseman/alternate captain Ed Jovanovski
, who has missed the past three games because of a lower-body injury, accompanied the team to LA for this game. The Coyotes are hoping he can return to the lineup tonight.
They didn’t generate any points, but Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett liked what he saw from the “Kid Line” on Tuesday vs. Nashville and likely will keep them together. Center Kyle Turris
and wingers Mikkel Boedker
and Brett MacLean
were linemates in the American Hockey League last season and the chemistry between them is obvious. (Click here
to watch a video of Tippett answering questions after Wednesday's practice).
|Photo by Getty Images.
Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov
is expected to start for Phoenix. Bryzgalov is 13-4-2 vs. LA.
The Kings (24-21-1) also will enter the game with a two-game losing streak. Moreover, LA has slipped considerably in the standings the past few weeks thanks to a current 2-9-0 stretch.
"We've got to start getting results here, regardless of how good we play," Kings captain Dustin Brown told the Kings' official Web site.
LA has earned 15 home wins this season. Only Anaheim and Chicago have earned more home wins among Western Conference teams.
Brown, Ryan Smyth and Justin Williams lead the Kings with 17 goals apiece, but only Williams has scored a goal – and just one at that – in the past five games.