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
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
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