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Winless Kings take on Coyotes
(Sports Network) - The defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings will take another shot at their first win of the new season when they visit the rival Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday.
The Kings went 16-4 during last spring's playoffs to deliver the franchise's first title, but Darryl Sutter's club is off to an 0-2-1 start to this shortened campaign.
Los Angeles earned its first point of the season with Thursday's overtime loss in Edmonton, but that's hardly reason for celebrating considering the Kings took a lead into the last 10 seconds of regulation. Edmonton rookie Nail Yakupov tied the game with 4.7 seconds left in the third period and Sam Gagner scored in OT as the Oilers snatched a 2-1 victory from the jaws of defeat.
Jeff Carter had the lone goal while Jonathan Quick gave up two goals on 39 shots for the Kings, who are 0-for-18 on the power play this season after failing to score on eight opportunities with the man advantage on Thursday.
"It hasn't gone the way we'd like certainly, but you have to try to bounce back," Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi said of the reigning champs' slow start.
Yakupov scored with Oilers goaltender Devan Dubnyk pulled for an extra attacker. After Quick made a stop on a shot from in close by Taylor Hall, Yakupov was there at the right side to bang the puck in out of the air with time winding down.
In overtime, Carter was in the box after Los Angeles was called for too many men on the ice. Nugent-Hopkins received a pass from Gagner at the left circle. Gagner then charged the net and Nugent-Hopkins fed him for the winner with 1:59 left in overtime for the win.
Saturday's tilt marks the end of a three-game swing for the Kings, who were 18-13-10 on the road in 2011-12.
Meanwhile, the Coyotes, who lost to L.A. in the Western Conference finals last spring, haven't fared much better than the Kings this season, going 1-3-0 out of the gate.
On Thursday night in San Jose, Phoenix suffered an even worse third-period meltdown than the Kings. The Coyotes scored twice early in the third period to take a 3-1 lead, but the Sharks scored four unanswered goals to skate away with the 5-3 triumph. Patrick Marleau scored two of the Sharks' four third- period goals, giving him six goals in three games this season.
Steve Sullivan had a goal and an assist for Phoenix, while Jason LaBarbera, starting in place of Mike Smith, stopped 30 shots. Smith missed the game with a lower-body injury suffered in Wednesday's home win over Columbus and is questionable for Saturday's tilt.
Coyotes forward Matthew Lombardi suffered an undisclosed injury in Thursday's contest and is out indefinitely.
Saturday's test against the Kings marks the start of a three-game homestand for Phoenix, which will also host Nashville and Edmonton during the residency at Jobing.com Arena. The Coyotes went 22-13-6 on home ice in 2011-12 and have split two games in Glendale this season.
Phoenix and the Kings split six games in last year's regular season, but L.A. won the playoff matchup in five games.
01/26 11:16:50 ET
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