The Phoenix Coyotes have the league's worst road record, and return from the Christmas break to play in a building where they rarely win.
The Coyotes meet the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday at Staples Center in a matchup of the worst teams in the Pacific Division.
Phoenix is 3-12-0 on the road this season, and have only one win in 15 visits to Los Angeles since October 2000. The Coyotes lost 5-3 in their only visit to Staples Center this season on Nov. 18.
That is one of the Kings' eight home wins this season, second-fewest in the Western Conference behind Columbus (seven).
The Coyotes (13-20-1) put together one of their best games of the season with a 2-0 home victory over Pacific Division-leading Anaheim on Saturday.
Shane Doan and Fredrik Sjostrom scored 13 seconds apart late in the third period, and Mikael Tellqvist made 29 saves for his first shutout this season and third of his career.
"We got some bounces and took advantage of them," Doan said. "It was huge to get a shutout."
Since being acquired from Toronto on Nov. 28, Tellqvist is 4-2-1 with a 2.90 goals-against average, but has not won in regulation in two starts on the road. He beat Chicago 2-1 in a shootout on Dec. 7, but was pulled after giving up four goals over 40 minutes in a 5-2 defeat to Vancouver on Dec. 12.
The Coyotes and Kings have split four games this season, and Phoenix has scored a total of 13 goals in its wins. Leading scorer Ladislav Nagy has a goal and six assists in those two victories, but only one assist in the losses.
Los Angeles (12-20-5) returns home after its power-play unit went 0-for-9 in a 7-0 loss at Nashville on Saturday.
"We had chances on the power play to make this a game," Kings coach Marc Crawford said after their season high-tying fourth straight loss. "Give their goalie credit for being good, but we didn't bear down on our chances.
"For the first period-and-a-half our power play was more effective than their power play, but we just couldn't finish."
Against Phoenix this season, though, the Kings have thrived with the man advantage. Los Angeles has scored 10 of its 17 goals against the Coyotes on the power play.
Poor defense has been another reason for the Kings' four-game skid as Dan Cloutier and rookie Barry Brust have combined to allow 20 goals. In the loss to Nashville, Cloutier also received a five-minute spearing major and game misconduct after tangling with Scott Hartnell.
"I feel terrible for Cloutier," Predators goaltender Chris Mason said. "I can relate. Everything that could go wrong went wrong. He was having terrible luck. The frustration probably got to him."
The Kings have allowed 133 goals this season, second-most in the league behind Philadelphia (136).
|Apr 07 '07||PHX 2 at LAK 3||A. Kopitar|
|Apr 05 '07||LAK 2 at PHX 3||S. Doan|
|Jan 20 '07||PHX 3 at LAK 2||T. Roche|
|Dec 26 '06||PHX 3 at LAK 4 - SO||A. Kopitar|
|Nov 30 '06||LAK 4 at PHX 7||S. Doan|
|Nov 18 '06||PHX 3 at LAK 5||C. Conroy|
|Nov 04 '06||LAK 4 at PHX 6||E. Jovanovski|
|Oct 19 '06||LAK 4 at PHX 0||A. Frolov|