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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, October 24th (All times Eastern)

Phoenix Coyotes (6-2-2) at Los Angeles Kings (6-4-0), 10:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The refreshed Los Angeles Kings aim to avoid a second straight loss on Thursday night as they take on the division rival Phoenix Coyotes for the first time this season.

After opening the season with games on back-to-back nights and then playing every other day following a two-day break, the Kings have been out of action since Monday's 3-2 loss to the Calgary Flames.

Los Angeles had won five of six coming into the game, but was shorthanded six times and gave up all three of its goals while shorthanded. The Kings also scored twice on special teams themselves, with Drew Doughty notching a power play goal and Jeff Carter scoring while shorthanded.

Jonathan Quick made 22 saves in the setback.

"Tonight was 10 (games) in 19 (days), and the other team was clearly fresher than ours. It made a big difference," Kings head coach Darryl Sutter said.

The Coyotes were last in action on Tuesday and they extended their point streak to seven straight games (5-0-2) with a 4-2 victory over the Calgary Flames.

Mike Ribeiro continued his red-hot play with two goals, including the go-ahead tally 5:47 into the third period.

After signing a five-year, $22 million deal with the Coyotes this offseason, Ribeiro went without a point in his first three games but has logged five goals and nine points over a seven-game point streak.

"He finds opportunities," Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett said of Ribeiro. "That's what skill players do, they find ways to have an effect on the game offensively."

Radim Vrbata opened the scoring in the first and Rob Klinkhammer added an empty-netter late to provide enough support for Mike Smith, who stopped 22-of- 24 shots in the Coyotes' second straight win.

The victory did come without captain Shane Doan due to a lower-body injury and the forward is questionable for tonight.

The Coyotes lost three of five to the fellow Pacific Division resident Kings last season, getting outscored 7-2 in a pair of setbacks in Los Angeles. Phoenix has lost six of its past seven in L.A. overall.

Smith is 9-4-1 with a 1.95 goals against average and two shutouts in 14 games versus the Kings, while Quick has gone 12-11-3 with four shutouts and a 2.56 GAA in 26 meetings with the Coyotes.

10/24 10:52:56 ET

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