NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, December 29th
(All times eastern)
Los Angeles Kings (22-12-1) at Phoenix Coyotes (16-12-7), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Riding their second-longest winning streak of the season,
the Los Angeles Kings shoot for a fifth straight victory this evening as they
visit the offensively-challenged Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena.
The Kings extended their current winning run on Monday with a 4-0 victory over
the Sharks. Jonathan Quick made 24 saves for his fourth shutout of the season
-- matching a career high -- and 12th of his career, while Dustin Brown scored
Brown, who has eight goals and 16 points in 37 career games versus Phoenix,
has five goals and eight points over his last four games overall and 19 points
in 12 games this month.
Marco Strum, playing in his fourth game since being acquired from Boston,
scored his first goal of the season and Trevor Lewis also scored. The Kings
unleashed a season-best 37 shots on net, including 30 through the first two
periods, but didn't find the scoreboard until their four-goal third frame.
"We had a lot of great chances in the first and second, but nothing was going
in," center Brad Richardson said. "We stuck with it, and that's always a good
thing. Sometimes that can go the other way, where you get a lot of chances and
they end up scoring, but Quick was great, and obviously we got that first one
in and kind of went from there."
Los Angeles' four-game run is second to only a six-game winning streak from
Oct. 28-Nov. 13 and the club has climbed to within three points of Dallas for
first place in the Pacific Division.
The Kings have won four of their last six on the road to improve to 9-10-0 as
the guest this season.
Los Angeles will look to keep Phoenix's offense suppressed tonight as the
Coyotes have been limited to a single goal in each of their last four games.
They have lost three of those outings, including last night's 3-1 home setback
to the Ducks.
Anaheim netted the game's first three goals before Shane Doan finally got his
club on the board in the second period. Ilya Bryzgalov, in his first game
after missing five straight due to an upper-body injury, made 21 saves.
"Let's face it, our last few games we haven't been lighting up the
scoreboard," Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett said. "So to go down three early,
that's a big climb back for us. Our execution and what we're doing is not
Phoenix also lost for the fourth time in its last five home games and is 6-5-4
at Jobing.com Arena this year.
Though Bryzgalov is 12-4-2 with a 2.38 goals-against average in his career
versus the Kings, the Coyotes may not want to play him on back-to-back nights
due to his recent injury. That could get Jason LaBarbera the nod and he has
split two games versus Los Angeles with a 2.89 GAA.
Bryzgalov did make 28 saves in the first of six scheduled meetings between
Phoenix and Los Angeles this year as the Coyotes claimed a 4-2 home win on
Oct. 21. Phoenix has won three straight and six of the last 10 meetings
overall, as well as two in a row and 10 of the last 14 played in the desert.
Quick made 23 saves in the earlier loss, falling to 5-6-1 with a 2.65 GAA
lifetime versus Phoenix.
Three of Coyotes forward Lee Stempniak's eight goals this year came in that
game versus the Kings, but the 27-year-old has gone without a goal in nine
straight and 13 of his last 14 games.
12/29 11:15:42 ET