clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Arizona Coyotes make a quick stop in Los Angeles

Arizona is taking a one game road-trip to LA. Can they stop the Kings?

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

After six straight games at home, the Arizona Coyotes are mixing it up a bit. For one game at least. Arizona will play the Los Angeles Kings tonight in the Staples Center before returning to Gila River Arena for three more games. It will be a tough test for Arizona after coming off of a tough 4-1 loss to New Jersey Saturday night.

Matchup at a Glance

Arizona Coyotes Los Angeles Kings
Points 50 (6th Pacific) 79 (4th Pacific)
Goals For 2.03 (29th) 2.69 (17th)
Goals Against 3.26 (28th) 2.43 (8th)
Power Play 20.8% (7th) 18.8% (T-11th)
Penalty Kill 78.0% (26th) 81.2% (T-15th)
5v5 SAT 49.1% (21st) 54.9% (1st)
SpSV% 96.9 (29th) 99.8 (T-17th)

View from Arizona

The Coyotes were actually having a pretty good March all things considered. They allowed two or fewer goals in four of their past five games. They weren't scoring much at all, but the defense seemed to have figured things out.

On Saturday night however, many of the good things the Coyotes had been doing disappeared in the stretch of two periods. Mike Smith struggled to control rebounds, the defenders couldn't box out attacking players, and the team went down 4-1.

There are still some bright spots over the past few games for the Coyotes though. Tobias Rieder remains hot, and Craig Cunningham has really established himself on the roster. John Moore still shows a lot of promise, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson missed no time after being boarded by Chicago's Joakim Nordstrom Thursday night. Small victories, but victories nonetheless.

View from Los Angeles

It's that time of year again. Los Angeles is powering their way back into the Stanley Cup Playoff picture after months of looking like the magic had finally run out.

After a 7-4-0 February, Los Angeles is now just one point behind the Winnipeg Jets for the final Wild Card spot, with both a game in hand and the first tiebreaker (Regulation/Overtime wins) in their possession. Possession is the name of the game for the Kings, as their SAT percentage at even-strength is once again better than anyone else's in the NHL.

There's a mix of old and new leading the way for the Kings this year. While Jeff Carter and Anze Kopitar are mainstays on the team's roster, youngsters Tyler Toffoli, Jake Muzzin, and Tanner Pearson are all making valuable contributions. Los Angeles should be there right until the bitter end, and the rest of the West should watch out if the Kings sneak into the playoffs again.

Who's Hot

Tobias Rieder has two goals and an assist in Arizona's last five. Considering how difficult it's been for the Coyotes to score, that's pretty darn impressive.

Marian Gaborik has scored four goals in five games. He is rounding back into form as the player who helped LA win the Cup last season.

Injury Report

Martin Hanzal and Mikkel Boedker have both been shut down for the season, but Arizona is completely healthy otherwise.

The Kings are without Tanner Pearson (broken fibula) and Slava Voynov (being a terrible human being). Alec Martinez is still undergoing concussion protocol, while Jarret Stoll is questionable for tonight's game.

Puck Drop

Tonight's game is a 7:30 PM start in Arizona time. You can watch it on Fox Sports Arizona or listen at AZ Sports 98.7 FM.