NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, February 16th (All times eastern)
Los Angeles Kings (25-32-3) at Phoenix Coyotes (29-25-4), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Phoenix Coyotes begin their second straight home-and- home set as they host the Los Angeles Kings tonight at Jobing.com Arena.
The Coyotes, who play in Los Angeles on Monday, just split a similar series with the Dallas Stars. Phoenix lost a 2-1 decision in Dallas on Monday before rebounding with a 5-2 home victory on Thursday.
Radim Vrbata posted his team-leading 25th goal and added two assists in the win, which halted a four-game skid for the Coyotes. Shane Doan, who is battling a groin ailment that caused him to miss Monday's loss, also lit the lamp, as did Daniel Carcillo, Niko Kapanen, and Nicholas Boynton.
Doan also had two assists to extend his team-leading point total to 57 on the season.
Ilya Bryzgalov made 32 saves as the Coyotes won for just the second time in eight games, while Steven Reinprecht had three assists for Phoenix.
Coyotes forward Peter Mueller, who leads all rookies with 19 goals this season, has failed to net a goal in four games since posting his second career hat trick on February 5 against Calgary. He has just two assists since turning the feat.
Phoenix finds itself 11th in the Western Conference at the moment and just three points out of a playoff spot. The Coyotes are 12-13-2 at home this season.
Los Angeles sits at the bottom of the NHL with a mere 53 points, but the club has been playing well as of late. The Kings have won four of their last six games and are fresh off last night's 6-3 victory over Calgary at the Staples Center.
Derek Armstrong had a goal and two assists to lead the way, while Alexander Frolov assisted on three of the Kings' six markers on the evening. Patrick O' Sullivan added a goal and an assist in the win, while Jason LaBarbera racked up 39 saves for Los Angeles.
The Kings have not had any success when facing the Coyotes this season, as Phoenix has won all four matchups between the Pacific Division rivals and has outscored Los Angeles by a 13-4 margin in those games.
Los Angeles has also been handed defeats in nine of its last 10 visits to Phoenix, including five straight as the visitor in this series.
02/16 10:54:41 ET