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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, April 2nd (All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Kings (20-12-3) at Phoenix Coyotes (14-15-6), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Kings hope to close out a five-game road trip on a successful note Tuesday evening as they visit the Phoenix Coyotes, who search for just their second victory in 10 games.
After getting shut out in the final two contests of a five-game homestand, Los Angeles picked up victories in Chicago and St. Louis before getting dealt a shootout loss at Minnesota on Saturday. The Kings were right back in action the following night and managed a 3-2 win over the Dallas Stars.
Jeff Carter scored his 20th goal of the season, while Brad Richardson and Justin Williams had third-period tallies. Richardson's goal was his first of the season as he was appearing in just his third game of the campaign and first since Feb. 10.
"It was a big win, we were trying to get some separation from some other teams," said Richardson, often a healthy scratch this season. "It's been a trying year to say the least, but you know, stick with it and when you get your chance you got to try and do your best."
Los Angeles netminder Jonathan Bernier made 13 saves as his team held a commanding 40-15 shot advantage in the victory.
The Kings, who are 15-6-1 since Feb. 19, are second in the Pacific Division, but 10 points behind the Anaheim Ducks. Los Angeles is also fifth overall in the Western Conference and made a move on Monday to bolster its blue line.
The Kings sent a 2014 and 2015 second-round pick to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for defenseman Robyn Regehr, a 13-year veteran. The trade is still pending a medical exam.
Los Angeles has played the majority of the season without blueliners Matt Greene and Willie Mitchell due to injury. Greene hurt his back in the first game of the season and has not played since, while Mitchell is not expected to play in this campaign due to a knee injury.
Phoenix, meanwhile, sits four points back of a playoff spot, having gone 1-5-3 over its last nine games. The Coyotes return home for three straight following a 1-0-2 road trip that ended with a 3-2 shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.
Radim Vrbata and Boyd Gordon scored in regulation, but Vrbata, Steve Sullivan and Mikkel Boedker all failed to score in the shootout. Jason LaBarbera, who continues to fill in for an injured Mike Smith (upper body), made 32 saves and stopped 2-of-3 in the tiebreaker.
"It was a close game. I liked the way our team competed tonight," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "We had a lot of guys go to the wall. It was our third game in four nights and tough travel. Obviously we're desperate for points right now. Our team competed hard out there. It was a tight game that came down to a shootout and unfortunately we didn't get the extra point."
Tuesday marks the fifth and final meeting of the regular season between the Kings and Coyotes. Los Angeles has won three of four, splitting two contests in Phoenix.
The Kings have won nine of their last 13 overall in this series and are 3-1-2 in the past six in Phoenix.
04/02 11:37:59 ET