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Preview: Coyotes at Kings

Tuesday, 03.19.2013 / 7:27 PM | Dave Vest

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Preview: Coyotes at Kings
Phoenix Coyotes vs. Los Angeles Kings

Season series: It's the second meeting in as many nights and third in a week for the Pacific Division rivals. The Kings blanked Phoenix 4-0 on Monday after losing 5-2 in Glendale last Tuesday.

Big story: The Coyotes are in a scoring slump -- they've been blanked in each of their past four road games, something that hasn't happened to any team since the Oakland Seals in 1967-68. That's bad news against LA, which is on a roll at home; The Kings have won 10 of its past 11 games at Staples Center.

Team Scope:

Photo by Getty Images.

Coyotes: Phoenix is wrapping up a four-game trip in which it has yet to turn on the red light. The only point in the first three games came last Saturday in a 1-0 shootout loss at Columbus.

Head Coach Dave Tippett is trying to keep his team's spirits up.

"I'm more upset about giving them an early lead on power plays than (our) chances not going in," he said.

"We just have to keep pounding away at it and hope we get some luck. There's no time to get down now. We have to keep pushing forward. We've got to find some people to get the job done."

The Coyotes haven't scored in a span of 194 minutes and five seconds.

"Nobody wants to go three games without a goal, but it happens and you've got to find ways to get through it," said captain Shane Doan, who leads the Coyotes with nine goals.

Phoenix plans to have forward Radim Vrbata back in the lineup for the first time since he suffered a lower-body injury on Feb. 16. Vrbata, who has notched four goals and eight assists in 15 games this season, was removed from the injured reserve list on Tuesday.

The Coyotes are 22-21-4 in the second game of back-to-back contests since Tippett took over at the start of the 2009-10 season. Moreover, they are 4-2-3 against the Kings at Staples Center in the regular season under Tippett.

Kings: Jonathan Quick was the first star on Monday after stopping 27 shots for his first shutout of the season. But the biggest ovation of the night went to rookie forward Tyler Toffoli after he scored his first NHL goal during a second-period power play.

"It was incredible. I didn't expect that," he said. "I just had goose bumps, and it was a great feeling."

Jonathan Bernier was the first goalie off the ice at LA's optional skate on Tuesday morning and is expected to start tonight. He is 4-0-0 at Staples Center this season.

Who's hot: Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist for the Kings on Monday and has five points in his past four games. Rookie defenseman Jake Muzzin also scored and leads all defensemen with six goals.

Injury report: Phoenix will play minus forward David Moss (lower-body) and defenseman Zbynek Michalek (lower body), who is on IR. … The Kings have been without defenseman Matt Greene (back) and Willie Mitchell (knee) for most of the season.

2012-2013 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 02 '13 LAK 1 at PHX 3 M. Lombardi
Mar 19 '13 PHX 2 at LAK 3 J. Stoll
Mar 18 '13 PHX 0 at LAK 4 J. Muzzin
Mar 12 '13 LAK 2 at PHX 5 M. Boedker
Jan 26 '13 LAK 4 at PHX 2 J. Carter
M. Boedker3061319-3631
S. Doan3011718+12101
O. Ekman-Larsson3031417+81801
K. Yandle3051116-13231
A. Vermette306713-32012
D. Moss2931013+21400
M. Hanzal217512-41222
S. Sullivan275712-72020
R. Vrbata164812-1810
L. Korpikoski306511-1810
R. Torres225510+01300
K. Chipchura294610+34300
D. Morris25099-52800
B. Gordon30077-1600
N. Johnson17426+3011
M. Lombardi16246+0410
M. Stone23213-3810
R. Klesla21123-4600
P. Bissonnette18033+12700
R. Klinkhammer5202+2201
Z. Michalek25022+61200
D. Schlemko13022+0800
D. Rundblad8011-5000
A. Bolduc7000-3200
C. Summers6000-3900
A. Miele1000+1000
C. Brown1000+0200
M. Smith2511-10-3686792.86.900
J. LaBarbera71-3-0101322.14.924
C. Johnson21-0-12420.98.952
A. Kopitar2891928+111201
J. Carter2918321+21056
J. Williams2941721+131410
M. Richards2971320-63451
S. Voynov2941519+91202
D. Brown2911718+31460
J. Stoll296713+52013
J. Muzzin266713+143321
D. Doughty2911112+12000
T. Lewis294610+71702
K. Clifford294610+03700
D. Penner222810+11200
R. Scuderi29189-3400
D. King28358+31100
C. Fraser25246-22500
J. Nolan26235-23300
A. Martinez20145+2600
S. Gagne11055+2200
D. Drewiske20134+31410
T. Toffoli3112+2210
K. Ellerby29022+35000
M. Greene1011-1400
B. Richardson2000+0000
J. Quick2210-8-2525022.56.896
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