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LA Kings @ Phoenix Coyotes Pregame: Dethroned Kings

In what feels like deja vu the Phoenix Coyotes will be playing the LA Kings tonight, although this time its at Arena instead of in LA. These two teams met it was an intense, fight filled game which had four fights, most of them during the first period. If this meeting is anything like that last one there it will be a very hard fought game between a team looking to advance in playoff race and one team who is looking to get a playoff spot again. This will be the last time these two teams meet this season, currently the series is 3-2 Kings, and 1-1 at

The last time these two teams met Rostislav Klesla took a check from Kings' Captain Dustin Brown, he left the game and has yet to return. Unfortunately the Coyotes have some injury problems, but Martin Hanzal may be returning tonight, it was announced that he will be a game-time decision. The Yotes called up Alexandre Bolduc and David Rundblad to cover the gaps and hopefully they will preform at the top of their games. The Coyotes are on an 8 game point streak, and they have yet to lose a game in regulation during the month of February.

The Kings, who had previously been playing well, have been on a slide as of late. They have won only one of their last five games, and only scored 6 goals in those games, two of those games ended in the Kings only scoring once, two ended with them not scoring at all. The top four goal scorers have only scored three goals in their past 8 games, which really showcases the problems that they are having on offense, and Jonathan Quick has been amazing, with a 1.38 goals against average in the past 5 games against the Coyotes.

Five For Winning:

1. Defense. The Kings don't have the best offense, so a strong defense will keep them from getting on the board. Limit their chances to get weak or lucky goals and hopefully prevent the Kings from getting a lead.

2. Score first. Coyotes scored first the last time these two teams met, and it turned out great. Hopefully they can do it again.

3. Win in regulation. The Kings are fighting for a spot in the playoffs, giving them a point now is a bad idea, especially since it took so long for the Yotes to overtake the Kings in the Pacific Division.

4. Be ready to drop the gloves. We don't know what feelings the Kings have after last weeks game, they are frustrated and if they fall behind they are only going to get more frustrated. The Coyotes shouldn't go looking for a fight but they should be ready for one. And on that note . . .

5. Play smart. Don't take any penalties that they don't need to, don't have important players spend time in the box for fighting. Ideally players like Ray Whitney and Radim Vrbata should do everything they can to stay on the ice.

Key Players

Radim Vrbata

#17 / Right Wing / Phoenix Coyotes



Jun 13, 1981

G A P +/- PIM
2011 - Radim Vrbata 28 21 49 16 18

Radim Vrbata scored a power play goal last time these two teams met, the lone goal of the game and he scored the game winner in overtime against Dallas.

Anze Kopitar

#11 / Center / Los Angeles Kings



Aug 24, 1987

G A P +/- PIM
2011 - Anze Kopitar 17 33 50 0 10

Its hard to point to one player for the Kings who have been playing well lately, but Anze Kopitar has 3 assists in the past five games. We he will probably be looking to set someone up to get the goal, kinda like the Kings version of Ray Whitney.

Likely Goalies

Mike Smith

#41 / Goalie / Phoenix Coyotes



Mar 22, 1982

2011 - Mike Smith 46 2668 25 14 100 2.25 1386 1286 .928 4

Do I really have to explain this one?

Jonathan Quick

#32 / Goalie / Los Angeles Kings



Jan 21, 1986

2011 - Jonathan Quick 50 2980 24 16 93 1.87 1410 1317 .934 6

Quick may be the reason that the Kings are doing as well as they are. There is a reason that the last two games only had the other team scoring one goal.


Phoenix Coyotes Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Martin Hanzal other-excused 02/21/2012
Rostislav Klesla other-excused 02/21/2012
Kyle Chipchura wrist 02/21/2012

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Taylor Pyatt other-excused 02/14/2012
David Schlemko foot 01/08/2012

Los Angeles Kings Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Dustin Brown other-excused 02/21/2012
Jarret Stoll other-excused 02/21/2012


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Kevin Westgarth hand 02/21/2012

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Scott Parse hip 11/09/2011
Simon Gagne concussion 12/27/2011

Remember head over to our frenemies Jewels From The Crown for their side of the story.