Season series: This is the third of five meetings between these clubs and the first of two in a row on consecutive days in Los Angeles. The teams have split the first two games, both of which were played at Jobing.com Arena.
Big story: Just two points separate these Pacific Division rivals as they battle for positioning in the race to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. While it’s unlikely either team will catch Anaheim for first place, both clubs could be in the mix for fourth place in the Western Conference, which guarantees home-ice advantage in the opening round.
Photo by Getty Images.
Coyotes: Phoenix has failed to score a goal thus far through two games of a four-game road trip. The Coyotes last scored on March 12, when they beat the Kings, 5-2, on home ice. The Coyotes have played 134:05 without lighting the lamp.
On the plus side, Phoenix is 5-0-0 in games played on Mondays this season and six of its 13 wins have come vs. Pacific Division teams.
Forward Mikkel Boedker, who leads the team with 18 points, has scored three of his six goals this season vs. the Kings. Meanwhile, center Martin Hanzal has recorded more points against the Kings than any other NHL opponent in his career. Hanzal has notched five goals and 13 assists with a plus-4 rating in 23 games vs. LA.
Kings: After suffering a 4-3 defeat at San Jose on Thursday, the Kings got their revenge on the Sharks on Saturday in a 5-2 victory at Staples Center. Kyle Clifford recorded his first two-goal game in the NHL and Jonathan Bernier made 21 saves for Los Angeles, which opened a five-game homestand.
The Kings also avoided losing three in a row in regulation for the first time since a five-game skid in December 2011.
Who’s hot: Coyotes goalie Mike Smith, who blanked Columbus on Saturday for his fourth shutout of the season, is tops among all NHL goaltenders with 12 shutouts since the start of the 2011-12 campaign. ... Kings captain Dustin Brown has notched five goals and two assists in the past five contests. Three of his five goals have come via the power play.
Injury report: Phoenix defenseman Zbynek Michalek (lower body) is day-to-day. Forward Radim Vrbata (foot) is on injured reserve. … Defenseman Willie Mitchell (knee) and Matt Greene (back) are out for Los Angeles.