By Dave Vest
The Coyotes will attempt to end a four-game winless streak tonight when they play the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center. The puck drops at 8:30 p.m. (Arizona time).
|Photo by Getty Images.
Phoenix (33-22-10) will enter the game in fifth place in the Western Conference standings, two points ahead of eighth-place Los Angeles (35-24-4).
The Coyotes have beaten the Kings three out of four times this season.
, who is 3-1-0 with a 2.27 goals-against average vs. the Kings this season, is expected to start in goal for the Coyotes. Bryzgalov is 6-0-1 with a 1.55 GAA at Staples Center since joining Phoenix in 2007-08.
Coyotes forward Lee Stempniak
has scored six of his 14 goals this season against the Kings, including three on Oct. 21 for his first career hat trick. Stempniak is looking to end a 16-game streak without a goal (see PODCASTS
Defenseman Rostislav Klesla
will play his first road game for the Coyotes after being acquired Monday in a trade with Columbus. Klesla scored a goal in his debut on Tuesday vs. Dallas at home to become the fourth Coyotes player to record a goal in his first game with the team this season. The others are Eric Belanger, Andrew Ebbett and Brett MacLean.
“For his first game in five weeks he was not bad,” Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said. “He knows he’s got a ways to go here to get up to speed... It’ll take a few games but I think he’ll fit in nicely with what we’re trying to do.”
Los Angeles enters the game after a 7-4 loss to Detroit on Monday that ended a three-game winning streak.
Right wing Dustin Penner is expected to make his Kings debut tonight. LA acquired Penner on Monday in a trade with Edmonton for defenseman Colten Teubert and two draft picks.
"I think our team deserved this," Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi told reporters, referring to the club's 6-1-3 trip last month. "The players drove me to this, going on that road trip and saying ... 'Make us better without taking anybody out of the room.'"
Penner scored 21 goals for the Oilers this season before the trade back to LA, for whom he played .
"He's another big, strong forward (and) they like to play a hard forecheck game," Tippett said. "They're a team that wants to play down-low in your end, and he's a forward that fits very well into that scheme. They're big, strong (and) they take a lot of pucks to the net. We're going to have to play very well with the puck to limit their opportunities behind there. It's going to be a battle. We're going to have to get in the trenches."