NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, April 5th
(All times eastern)
Los Angeles Kings (26-40-14) at Phoenix Coyotes (29-45-5), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The bottom feeders of the Western Conference play the
first of a home-and-home series tonight at Phoenix's Jobing.com Arena, where
the Coyotes host the Los Angeles Kings.
Los Angeles comes into this meaningless set ranked 14th out of the West's 15
teams with 66 points, while Phoenix has mustered only 63 for the campaign.
Only Philadelphia, which has earned 54 points, has a lower figure in the NHL.
Both clubs will also be attempting to break out of five-game losing streaks
tonight. Phoenix has lost 14 of its last 16 games, while the Kings have
dropped six of their seven most recent outings.
Los Angeles was last in action Tuesday at Vancouver, where the Canucks rallied
from a two-goal deficit to post a 4-2 decision.
Derek Armstrong and Dustin Brown gave the Kings a 2-0 lead with a pair of
power-play goals, but Vancouver answered with three second-period scores to
Mathieu Garon stopped 28-of-31 shots for Los Angeles, which fell for the
eighth time in its last 10 road tilts.
Phoenix's struggles continued with Tuesday's 5-2 home setback to St. Louis.
Daniel Carcillo and Jeremy Roenick each had goals in the losing effort.
Coyotes goaltender Curtis Joseph turned away only 17-of-22 shots before being
replaced by Mikael Tellqvist to begin the third period. Tellqvist saved all
six chances he faced.
Following these two games with Los Angeles, Phoenix will conclude its season
at home against Vancouver on Sunday.
These two Pacific Division foes have split six previous meetings in 2006-07,
but the Coyotes have taken six of their last nine encounters with the Kings.
Los Angeles has lost in six of its most seven recent visits to Phoenix as
04/05 10:40:50 ET