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Los Angeles
Kings
40-27-15

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35 SOG
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game preview

Coyotes-Kings Preview

Saturday, 12.24.2011 / 9:24 PM

The Skinny
 
By Dave Vest
After a two-day break for Christmas, the Coyotes will resume their 2011-12 season tonight with a game against the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center. The puck drops at 8 p.m. (Arizona time).

Phoenix (18-14-3) has won four of its past six road games and is second in the Western Conference with an 11-6-1 road record. That’s good news because the Coyotes, who flew to LA on Monday morning less than 12 hours before the game, will play eight of their next 10 games away from Jobing.com Arena.

Photo by Getty Images.
Jason LaBarbera is expected to start in goal for the Coyotes in place of injured goalie Mike Smith, whom Phoenix placed on the injured reserved list on Monday retroactive to Dec. 20. Smith traveled with the team to LA and likely will return to the ice for practice in the next day or two.

LaBarbera has posted a 1-1-0 record and a 3.02 goals-against average in two-plus games since replacing Smith, who suffered a lower-body injury during the team’s 2-1 win at Florida on Dec. 20.

"When you don't get to play a lot - then all of a sudden you get thrown in there - maybe you're not used to it, but you've got to find a way to get through it," LaBarbera said.

Curtis McElhinney, whom the Coyotes recalled from the American Hockey League on Monday, will serve as LaBarbera’s backup in this game. To make room on the roster for McElhinney, the Coyotes sent Justin Pogge back to the AHL. Meanwhile, center Patrick O’Sullivan also was recalled on Monday from the AHL on an emergency basis.

Photo by Getty Images.
The Kings (16-4-5), who have played three consecutive games decided by a shootout, are 1-0-1 under new Head Coach Darryl Sutter.

LA has scored fewer than three goals in regulation in 14 consecutive games - the longest such stretch in franchise history. The Kings are struggling on the power play; LA has converted an NHL-worst 5 of 57 (8.8 percent) on the man advantage since Nov. 19.

Jonathan Quick is expected to start in goal for LA. Quick ranks eighth in the NHL in GAA at 2.13, and ninth in save percentage at .928.

Kings captain Dustin Brown ranks third in the NHL with 113 hits, and center Jarett Stoll ranks 10th in the League in faceoff percentage at 55.8.


Who's Hot
 
Korpikoski
Coyotes left wing Lauri Korpikoski has notched four  goals and seven points over his last nine games. He ranks tied for third on the team with nine goals.
Richards
Kings center Mike Richards has scored one goal in each of the past two games and three of the past four. He leads LA with 13 goals and a 19.4 shooting percentage.
Did You Know?
 
  • The Coyotes are 6-2-2 (plus one tie) in the 11 games they've played on Dec. 26 since moving to Phoenix from Winnipeg in 1996, including three wins in a row.

  • Coyotes goalie Jason LaBarbera played 93 games for Los Angeles from 2005-09. Against the Kings, LaBarbera has posted a 1-1-0 record with a 2.88 goals-against average and a .880 save percentage.

  • Tonight's game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Arizona Plus and on Money Radio 1510 (AM). Click here to view the channel locator. A link to the radio broadcast will be provided at phoenixcoyotes.com at 8 p.m. For in-game updates via Twitter, follow @coyotesgameday.

2011-2012 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Feb 21 '12LAK 4 at PHX 5 - SOM. Boedker
Feb 16 '12PHX 1 at LAK 0R. Vrbata
Jan 05 '12PHX 0 at LAK 1 - OTD. Doughty
Dec 26 '11PHX 3 at LAK 4D. Brown
Oct 29 '11LAK 2 at PHX 3 - OTD. Langkow
Oct 20 '11LAK 2 at PHX 0D. Brown
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
R. Whitney36122032+92040
R. Vrbata36161329+8834
S. Doan3691322-71832
K. Yandle3651722+22402
M. Hanzal3351419+62821
L. Korpikoski369817+2802
D. Langkow2851015-41001
O. Ekman-Larsson366814-51411
M. Boedker365712-4601
B. Gordon353912+71001
R. Torres366511+32600
D. Schlemko351910+51000
T. Pyatt36448+01200
D. Morris34077-112600
C. O'Reilly20246-2410
R. Klesla29156+31300
D. Rundblad25145-12600
P. O'Sullivan18224+0000
A. Aucoin32134+52410
K. Chipchura24044-41700
M. Rozsival9022+3600
P. Bissonnette11101-11101
P. Nokelainen5011-1000
K. Turris6000-2400
A. Miele5000-2400
C. Summers4000+1000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
M. Smith2815-10-3678382.52.920
J. LaBarbera113-5-0262792.76.907
C. McElhinney10-0-0060.001.000
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
A. Kopitar36102434-4441
M. Richards2813922+21720
J. Williams3651621-12010
D. Brown3691120+23045
S. Gagne3471017-11802
D. Doughty3121214-42610
J. Johnson365813-111433
J. Stoll36369+13000
S. Voynov21448+1621
D. Penner25268-52910
W. Mitchell30257+31301
M. Greene36145-12200
R. Scuderi36134-51000
K. Clifford36134-63600
E. Moreau28134-32001
T. Hunter20134-3600
B. Richardson27213-61200
A. Martinez19202-5420
S. Parse9202+11410
D. Drewiske7202+0200
K. Westgarth19112-52900
A. Loktionov15022-3200
C. Fraser21101-22700
T. Lewis26011-2900
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
J. Quick3015-10-5648822.15.927
J. Bernier72-4-0211793.10.883
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