NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, December 31st (All times eastern)
Los Angeles Kings (16-12-5-4) at Phoenix Coyotes (11-12-11-2), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Phoenix Coyotes will get another shot at their first win at the brand-new Glendale Arena tonight when they welcome the Los Angeles Kings to town.
The Coyotes dropped their second-straight game at the new building after Monday's overtime loss to the New York Rangers. Bobby Holik scored late in the third period and Tom Poti delivered the game-winning goal a minute into OT to lift the Rangers to the 3-2 decision.
Jan Hrdina and Dan Cleary scored for the Coyotes, while Sean Burke stopped 28 shots in defeat. Phoenix has just one win in its last eight contests (1-2-4-1).
The Coyotes had opened the $200-plus million hockey-friendly arena with a 3-1 loss to Nashville on Saturday night. Glendale Arena is expected to get the Coyotes in the black after the squad lost a lot of money in America West Arena over the last few years. Nearly a quarter of the 16,200 hockey seats at America West Arena had an obstructed view of the ice.
Tonight's game is the Coyotes' last chance to secure a win in the new building before embarking on a four-game road trip. After tonight's tilt the Coyotes won't be back at Glendale until January 11 versus Atlanta.
The Kings are coming off a 3-2 overtime loss to the Rangers on Tuesday night at the Staples Center. Poti delivered a game-winning goal in overtime for the second straight night to lift New York again.
Los Angeles was led by goals from Martin Straka and Jozef Stumpel, but it fell to 0-1-4-1 in its last six games. Cristobal Huet ended with 22 saves.
The setback was the first loss in the Kings' last eight home games (4-1-3), and LA sits one point behind San Jose for first place in the Pacific Division.
The teams are tied at 1-1-1 this season in a trio of high-scoring contests. LA won at home on November 1 by a 7-3 margin before the Coyotes posted a 6-4 victory at America West Arena on November 27. The teams then played to a 4-4 tie at the Staples Center on December 18.
The recent series' history bodes well for the Coyotes, as the home team has lost just one of the previous 17 matchups (10-1-6).
12/31 10:16:12 ET