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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, March 27th (All times eastern)

Phoenix Coyotes (37-34-6) at Los Angeles Kings (30-40-7), 10:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Phoenix Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings will conclude their season series tonight, as the two clubs will battle at the Staples Center.

Phoenix has dominated the series this year, going 6-0-1 and outscoring the Kings 21-7 through the first six games before Los Angeles' 6-5 shootout win. The Coyotes have won eight of 10 and 10 of the last 14 in the series, including three straight in Los Angeles.

The Coyotes kept their slim playoff hopes alive on Tuesday with a 5-4 shootout win over San Jose. Martin Hanzal scored 3:23 into overtime to lift Phoenix, which halted a back-breaking five-game losing streak.

Shane Doan and Derek Morris each had a goal and an assist, Enver Lisin and Steve Reinprecht also scored, while Daniel Winnik had two assists. Ilya Bryzgalov made 30 saves in the win.

Doan, who leads the club with a career-high 76 points (27 goals, 49 assists), has three goals and six helpers in his last four games and five goals and seven assists in seven games against the Kings this year.

Ed Jovanovski has two goals and nine assists versus the Kings, while Bryzgalov is 5-0-0 with a 1.40 GAA against them since joining Phoenix this year.

The Coyotes are tied for 11th in the West, but with just five games to play are six points behind eighth-seeded Vancouver. Phoenix plays the first of back-to-back road games tonight and has lost five of its last eight as the visiting club. The Coyotes are 20-15-2 on the road this year.

Playing for pride, the Kings picked up a point last time out after losing to Anaheim, 2-1, in a shootout on Wednesday. Both Anaheim's Teemu Selanne and Dustin Brown of the Kings early on in the shootout, and Erik Ersberg did his best to keep LA in it before getting beat by Mathieu Schneider in the sixth round.

Patrick O'Sullivan had the only goal for the Kings, who had a two-game win streak snapped. Ersberg finished with 39 saves. He was in net for the Kings' shootout win over Phoenix on March 20.

Rob Blake played in his 800th game as a member of the Kings last night, becoming just the fourth player in franchise history to reach that mark. He joins Dave Taylor (1,111), Luc Robitaille (1,077) and Marcel Dionne (921).

Los Angeles has lost three straight and five of its last seven at home. The Kings are 15-19-3 as the host this year and welcome Dallas to town on Saturday.

03/27 10:49:57 ET


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