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At the Rink blog

Coyotes must make homestand count

Tuesday, 04.02.2013 / 2:30 PM

By Jerry Brown - NHL.com Correspondent / 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

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2012-2013 At the Rink blog
Coyotes must make homestand count

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Phoenix Coyotes haven't won three games in a row all season. But if they are going force themselves back into the Western Conference playoff conversation as the final month of the season begins, three home wins this week are all but mandatory.

It begins Tuesday against the surging Los Angeles Kings, who beat the Coyotes twice in Los Angeles during a seven-game losing streak that sent Phoenix's season spiraling south. Phoenix will host the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday and Colorado Avalanche on Saturday before playing seven of their final 10 on the road.

The Kings are 6-2-1 over the past nine games, including 4-0 and 3-2 wins over the Coyotes, and the defending Stanley Cup champions bolstered their blue line by obtaining Robyn Regehr from the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.

Phoenix won't have goalie Mike Smith, who hasn't played since being run by the Vancouver Canucks' Alexander Elder 11 days ago. Jason LaBarbera will make his fifth straight start and played well on a 1-0-2 road trip that kept the Coyotes playoff chances alive for the moment.

The Coyotes won't have defenseman Zbynek Michalek or winger Lauri Korpikoski again Tuesday; neither was on the ice Tuesday morning. Newly acquired Robyn Regehr won't be ready for the game for the Kings.

KINGS

Dustin BrownAnze KopitarJustin Williams

Dwight KingJarret StollTrevor Lewis

Mike RichardsTyler ToffoliJeff Carter

Kyle CliffordColin FraserJordan Nolan

Jake MuzzinDrew Doughty

Rob ScuderiSlava Voynov

Keaton EllerbyAlec Martinez

Jonathan Quick

Jonathan Bernier

Scratched: Davis Drewiske, Brad Richardson

Injured: Matt Greene (back), Willie Mitchell (knee), Dustin Penner (lower body)

COYOTES

Shane Doan - Martin Hanzal - Radim Vrbata

Steve Sullivan - Matthew Lombardi - Mikkel Boedker

Rob Klinkhammer - Boyd Gordon - David Moss

Kyle Chipchura - Antoine Vermette - Raffi Torres

Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Michael Stone

Keith Yandle - David Schlemko

Rostislav Klesla - Derek Morris

Jason LaBarbera

Chad Johnson

Injured: Zbynek Michalek (lower body), Lauri Korpikoski (upper body), Mike Smith (upper body)

Scratched: Paul Bissonnette

Quote of the Day

We want to make sure that whoever makes our team really makes our team by earning it and not putting them in situations where they get preference because of their status as a first-round pick or whatever it might be. That's not going to happen. Everybody has to earn their way on our team.

— Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen on the team's prospects at development camp