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Game #24 Preview: Arizona at Los Angeles

Antti Raanta to start, Christian Dvorak to play in 200th NHL game as Coyotes continue Pacific Division stretch

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Game Preview

GAME #24: ARIZONA (13-8-2) at LOS ANGELES (9-12-1)

2:00 PM MST - STAPLES Center | Los Angeles, CA

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

Radio: Fox Sports 910 AM Phoenix (Bob Heethuis)

Referees: Dan O'Halloran #13, Francois St. Laurent #8

Linesmen: Kiel Murchison #79, Travis Gawryletz #67

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ARIZONA AT LOS ANGELES

In for a quick turnaround matinee match-up, the Coyotes visit the Los Angeles Kings this afternoon at STAPLES Center, marking the second of the teams' four scheduled meetings this season.

Los Angeles will return to Gila River Arena on January 30; Arizona will make its second stop to STAPLES Center for the season series finale on March 22.

The Coyotes are coming off a 3-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night. Vinnie Hinostroza scored the lone goal while Darcy Kuemper put forth his seventh 30-plus save performance of the season.

The Kings are coming off an impressive 5-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday. Los Angeles has won four of its last five games, its lone loss during that stretch coming to the Coyotes on Monday.

"We know we won 3-0 [against the Kings on Monday], but a couple power play goals were the difference," head coach Rick Tocchet said following Friday's practice. "We're going into their building; they just had a great win against a really good first place Edmonton team. They're dangerous and they're going to be looking for revenge, so we've got to have our antennas up."

Antti Raanta will start, Tocchet confirmed Friday. Michael Grabner remains day-to-day; it is unclear whether or not he will return to the lineup this afternoon.

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THREE THINGS

NEXT FIVE, LOOK ALIVE: Each of the Coyotes' next five games will come against Pacific Division opponents, a set of important match-ups that will run the team through November. The Coyotes are 4-1-1 against Pacific opponents so far this season. "These are swing games," Rick Tocchet said Friday. "You lose games and teams get back into the race, you win games and you can separate yourself, that's the way you have to look at it. I know it's five games, but I like to look at one game [at a time]; we have LA, we focus on that, we try to bounce back from a loss."

MR. TWO HUNDRED(S): Christian Dvorak will become the fourth Coyotes player to play in his 200th NHL game this season when the puck drops in downtown Los Angeles. Darcy Kuemper and Nick Schmaltz appeared in their 200th games last Saturday against the Calgary Flames, while Vinnie Hinostroza hit that career milestone on Monday against the Kings. That's four players to reach that mark in a four-game span.

SEE PUCK, SAVE PUCK: The Kings are second in the NHL averaging 34.5 shots per game. Antti Raanta has made 30 or more saves in seven of his eight starts and is seeing an average of 35.13 shots from opponents this season. Raanta enters the day with the 10th-best save percentage (.922 SV%) in the league.

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LAST TIME AROUND

November 18, 2019 - Arizona (3) vs. Los Angeles (0)

The Coyotes earned their third shutout win of the season in their previous match-up with the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night, skating to a 3-0 victory at Gila River Arena.

Conor Garland got the Coyotes' offense rolling just over three minutes into the contest, netting his team-leading 10th goal of the season. Derek Stepan and Jakob Chychrun followed up with power play goals, marking just the third game this year in which the team registered multiple man advantage goals.

Antti Raanta stopped all 31 shots he faced, earning his first shutout and fourth win of the season.

Arizona is 1-0-0 against Los Angeles this season.

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NUMBER TO KNOW

SIXTEEN (16)

With a 7-3-2 record in opposing buildings this season, the Coyotes are tied with the St. Louis Blues and Winnipeg Jets for second in the NHL in road points with 16; all three teams behind only the Washington Capitals' 21.

Nick Schmaltz leads the Coyotes in road points with 10 (3G, 7A). He has registered a point or game-deciding goal in all nine of the road games the Coyotes have earned a point in this season.

Arizona has earned points in six of its last seven road games (5-1-1).

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QUICK HITS

  • Christian Dvorak leads the NHL with a 62.7 FO%.
  • Los Angeles' home penalty kill percentage (71.4%) ranks second-to-last in the NHL.
  • Alex Goligoski has 23 points (4G, 19A) in 38 career games against the Kings.
  • Anze Kopitar leads the Kings in goals (8), assists (15), and points (23).
  • Lawson Crouse leads the Coyotes with 59 hits this season.
  • It has been 331 days since the Coyotes last played at STAPLES Center.
  • Arizona owns a 115-83-25-8 all-time record against Los Angeles.

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Lead Photo Credit: Harry How - Getty Images // Footer Photo Credit: Harry How - Getty Images // GIF Highlight Footage: Fox Sports Arizona

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