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Game #22 Preview: Arizona vs. Los Angeles

Vinnie Hinostroza to play in his 200th NHL game as the Coyotes host the Kings for the first of the teams' four scheduled meetings

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Game Preview

GAME #22: ARIZONA (12-7-2) vs. LOS ANGELES (8-11-1)

7:00 PM MST - Gila River Arena | Glendale, AZ

TV: Fox Sports Arizona Plus (Matt McConnell, Tyson Nash, Todd Walsh, Jody Jackson)

Radio: Fox Sports 910 AM Phoenix (Bob Heethuis, Paul Bissonnette)

Referees: Chris Schlenker #3, Graham Skilliter #24

Linesmen: Ryan Galloway #82, Trent Knorr #63

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ARIZONA VS. LOS ANGELES

The Coyotes play the second of their three-game home stand tonight as they host the Los Angeles Kings at Gila River Arena, marking the first of four scheduled meetings between the teams this season.

Los Angeles will return to Gila River Arena on January 30th; Arizona will travel to Staples Center twice: this coming Saturday, and on March 22nd - the season series finale.

The Kings come into the night with a three-game win streak, their longest of the season thus far. They are coming off a 4-3 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday.

Following a 3-0 shutout of the Calgary Flames on Saturday, the Coyotes have now won three of their previous four contests, and in the process, improved to 3-1-1 against Pacific Division opponents this season.

The Coyotes are amidst a Pacific-heavy stretch; six of their next seven games are against division opponents.

"These are huge points and they prove to be so big down the final stretch of the season," said Lawson Crouse . "These are the games you need to win, they're against your division and you can't be throwing those points away, it's big."

Antti Raanta is set to make his eighth start of the year; no other lineup changes are expected from the alignment used Saturday against Calgary, per Rick Tocchet.

Vinnie Hinostroza will play in his 200th career NHL game tonight, becoming the third Coyotes player to reach the milestone since Saturday. Darcy Kuemper and Nick Schmaltz each hit that mark against Calgary.

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THREE THINGS

LUCKY NUMBER 13: The Coyotes, situated at second place in the Pacific Division with a 12-7-2 record, could become just the second Western Conference team to earn its 13th win of the year with a victory tonight. The Pacific Division-leading Edmonton Oilers are the only other Western Conference team with 13 wins. Two teams in the Eastern Conference, the New York Islanders (14) and Washington Capitals (15) have reached, and surpassed, the 13-win mark.

TOUGH STUFF: Coming off their second shutout victory of the season in which they blocked a season-high 24 shots, the Coyotes are again atop the NHL in goals-against per game, tied with the New York Islanders with a league-best team 2.33 GA/G. The Coyotes' 49 goals allowed are the second fewest in the league behind only the Islanders' 42, who have played three less games than the Coyotes.

SHOTS COMING: Los Angeles is atop the NHL in shots per game, averaging a league best 34.9. Arizona, meanwhile, is coming off its best shot-blocking performance of the year in its 3-0 win over the Flames, with 24 blocks. Alex Goligoski , who leads the Coyotes with 40 blocked shots, had a season-high eight in the win over Calgary. "If there's an opportunity to knock one down in front, we're all willing to do that," he said after Monday's morning skate.

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LAST TIME AROUND

April 2, 2019 - Arizona (1) vs. Los Angeles (3)

Neither team found the back of the net through the first 36 minutes of play during their previous meeting on April 2 of last season.

Former King Brad Richardson broke the scoreless stalemate with 3:54 remaining in the first period to give the Coyotes a 1-0 lead, connecting from the slot after receiving a pass from Vinnie Hinostroza. The Kings responded to score three unanswered goals to skate to a 3-1 win.

The Coyotes finished with a 2-2-0 record against Los Angeles last season.

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NUMBER TO KNOW

ELEVEN (11)

With his next point, Oliver Ekman-Larsson will surpass Radim Vrbata to claim 11th on the Coyotes' all-time points list. He and Vrbata are currently tied with 343 points each. Morris Lukowich, who played five-plus seasons with the Winnipeg Jets from 1979-1984, ranks 10th on the all-time franchise points list with 345.

Ekman-Larsson currently holds the franchise record for the most goals (118) and points (343) by a defenseman.

The Coyotes' captain has two goals and seven assists in 21 games this year and 19 points (8G, 11A) in 42 games against the Kings.

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QUICK HITS

  • Brad Richardson played four seasons with the Kings (2009-13), where he won the 2012 Stanley Cup.
  • Anze Kopitar has 73 points (20G, 53A) in 71 career games against the Coyotes.
  • Darcy Kuemper played the first half of the 2017-18 season with the Kings, posting a 10-1-3 record in 15 starts.
  • Derek Stepan is two assists away from 300 in his NHL career.
  • Jeff Carter played in his 1,000th NHL game on Saturday in the Kings' 4-3 win over the Vegas Golden Knights.
  • Arizona owns a 114-83-25-8 all-time record against Los Angeles.

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Lead Photo Credit: Norm Hall - Getty Images // Footer Photo Credit: Norm Hall - Getty Images // GIF Highlight Footage: Fox Sports Arizona, MSG Network

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