NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, January 20th
(All times eastern)
Phoenix Coyotes (21-24-2) at Los Angeles Kings (16-27-6), 11 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Kings hope to end a six-game
losing streak tonight, when they host the Phoenix Coyotes on Luc Robitaille
night at the Staples Center.
The Kings will honor Robitaille by retiring his No. 20 to the rafters in a
pre-game ceremony. Robitaille played 14 of his 19 seasons in Los Angeles and
is the club's all-time leading goal scorer with 557 tallies. His 668 career
goals also make him the highest scoring left wing in NHL history.
Robitaille will join Rogie Vachon, Marcel Dionne, Dave Taylor and Wayne
Gretzky as the only Kings players to have their jersey retired.
The Kings are mired in a season-high slide which is the franchise's longest
since it dropped seven in a row from January 24-February 8, 2006. Los Angeles'
latest defeat came at home to the St. Louis Blues, who skated away with a 3-1
decision on Thursday.
Dallas Drake had a two-goal game as St. Louis gave head coach Andy Murray a
victory in his return to the Staples Center.
Murray was fired by the Kings near the end of the 2005-06 campaign after a
near seven-year tenure with the club. He is the franchise's all-time leader in
wins (215) and games coached (480).
Raitis Ivanans had the lone Los Angeles goal.
Barry Brust started between the pipes for the Kings, but surrendered two soft
goals while facing just ten shots in the first period. He was replaced by
Yutaka Fukufuji, who stopped 17 of 18 chances the rest of the way.
Los Angeles made a move to address their goaltending problems on Thursday,
claiming veteran Sean Burke off waivers from Tampa Bay. Burke, who will turn
40 later this month, had been playing with the Lightning's AHL affiliate, the
The Kings are currently without their top two netminders. Dan Cloutier is out
for the season because of hip surgery and Mathieu Garon is sidelined with a
Phoenix has lost four of five after putting together a season-best seven-game
win streak from December 28-January 9 and has dropped the first two tests of a
current four-game road trip. After falling at Colorado by a goal on Wednesday,
the Coyotes were handed a 5-2 setback by red-hot San Jose on Thursday.
Travis Roche and Fredrik Sjostrom each lit the lamp and Mikael Tellqvist made
28 saves for the Coyotes, who had won six consecutive road tilts prior to the
Phoenix is 9-15-1 away from home and concludes this road stretch following the
All-Star break, when the club will visit Colorado on Friday.
Los Angeles has taken three of five games from Phoenix this season, including
a 4-3 shootout victory at the Staples Center on December 26. The Coyotes have
won just once in their last 16 visits to Los Angeles, with 11 losses and four
ties over that span.
The home team has won 11 of the last 13 games in this series.
01/20 11:15:39 ET