Today the Coyotes will get a chance to hop right back on the ice, as they head to the Staples Center to play the Los Angeles Kings.
Matchup at a Glance
|Arizona Coyotes||Los Angeles Kings|
|Points||15 (3rd Pacific)||18 (1st Pacific)|
|Goals For||2.79 (T-10th)||2.50 (T-19th)|
|Goals Against||2.93 (T-23rd)||2.07 (4th)|
|Power Play||12.1% (29th)||20.0% (11th)|
|Penalty Kill||83.3% (10th)||84.9% (7th)|
|5v5 Corsi For||48.5% (22nd)||55.9% (1st)|
|PDO||100.6 (T-12th)||98.9 (22nd)|
View from Arizona
For a long time,Anaheim Duck Andrew Cogliano was a Coyote killer. It now appears that the Coyotes have found a Duck Hunter: Anthony Duclair.
Duclair has six goals on the season so far, and four have come against Anaheim. Last night though, he got some help from Max Domi and Mikkel Boedker. The trio of Domi, Boedker, and Duclair has now combined for 18 goals and 15 assists this year.
Expected to start in goal tonight is Mike Smith, who was given last night's game off in favor of Anders Lindback. Lindback stopped 33 of 36 shots, and looked respectable enough, especially while staring down a five on three with the game tied late in the third period. Lindback may not have taken the starter's job last night, but he probably earned some more reps in the immediate future.
View from Los Angeles
For the Los Angeles perspective, be sure to check out Jewels From The Crown.
Nobody loves holding onto the puck more than the Kings. LA has skated three of the five best regular season possession teams in the NHL since 2011-12. Two of those squads won the Stanley Cup.
One of the biggest differences between the Kings that started the season and the Kings that are currently leading the Pacific Division has been the markedly improved play of the offense. Los Angeles mustered all of five goals in its first five games this season. In its last five, they've scored 17.
Leading the way has been two-thirds of what The Royal Half affectionately deemed "That 70s Line" - Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli. Carter has seven goals and eight assists to lead the team in points, while Toffoli leads the team in goals with nine.
Keys to the Game
- Strong Start - Energy will be key in playing a team that has the puck more often than not. Especially since the Coyotes just played an overtime game last night.
- Give Smith Some Help - Even if Mike Smith doesn't have the greatest of nights, a win would be a big confidence booster. If the offense can show up like they did last night, that would be a big help.
- Penalty Killing - Arizona conceded another power play goal last night. That's now four of the last five games where the Coyotes gave up a goal while shorthanded. A clean sheet tonight would go a long way towards securing a victory.
Players to Watch
Michael Stone and Oliver Ekman-Larsson only have one goal apiece despite going into the season as the presumptive power play defensemen. The Coyotes could use more offense from their entire blue-line, but especially these guys.
The other third of "That 70s Line" is Tanner Pearson. He only has two goals and four assists this year, but one goal and two assists in his last three games. He could be heating up.
Nicklas Grossmann and Joe Vitale remain on injured reserve, while Antoine Vermette is again considered questionable for tonight's game.
Dwight King is on injured reserve until at least December with a broken foot, while Matt Greene has not played since October 13th with an upper body injury.
Tonight's game is an even later start for Coyotes fans; we get underway at 8:30 PM Arizona time. You can watch the game on Fox Sports Arizona or listen on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.