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Game #53 Preview: Arizona vs. Los Angeles

The Coyotes open up a four-game home stand tonight at Gila River Arena, hosting the Kings

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Game Preview

GAME #53: ARIZONA (26-21-5) vs. LOS ANGELES (18-28-5)

7:30 PM MST - Gila River Arena | Glendale, AZ

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

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

Referees: Frederick L'Ecuyer #17, Dan O'Halloran #13

Linesmen: Kory Nagy #97, Bryan Pancich #94

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ARIZONA VS. LOS ANGELES

The Coyotes open a four-game home stand tonight as they host the Los Angeles Kings at Gila River Arena, marking the third of four scheduled meetings between the teams this season.

Both clubs returned to action on Wednesday night following the All-Star break, both teams suffering losses.

In Anaheim, the Coyotes fell to the Ducks by a 4-2 score; Vinnie Hinostroza (1G, 1A), Lawson Crouse (1G, 1A), and Nick Schmaltz (2A) each finished the night with multi-point performances.

The Kings also suffered a 4-2 defeat, coming up short against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Los Angeles comes into the night having lost five-straight games (0-4-1), eight of its last nine (1-7-1), and 12 of its last 15 (3-10-2).

There was no morning skate held for the Coyotes due to the back-to-back nature of tonight's contest, so no lineup details have been provided. Adin Hill could step in for Antti Raanta , who made 28 saves last night in Anaheim.

Hill picked up his first career NHL win against the Kings on March 13, 2018, making a total of 34 saves in a 4-3 Coyotes win in a game that extended to a five-round shootout.

Head coach Rick Tocchet will address the media two hours prior to puck drop to provide additional insight.

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THREE THINGS

BACK HOME: Though the Coyotes have had their share of struggles on the road lately, they've turned the tables on their early season difficulties on home ice, entering tonight's affair with a five-game point streak (4-0-1) at Gila River Arena. The Kings currently own the third-worst road record in the NHL, chiming in with a 7-17-4 mark. The Coyotes have outscored opponents by a 75-62 margin through 24 home games played thus far.

NEED A SPARK: After failing to convert on all five of their power play opportunities on Wednesday, Arizona will look for a bounce-back performance from its man advantage units against a Los Angeles Kings team that owns the second-worst PK% (73.8) in the league. The Coyotes have scored three power play goals in two games against the Kings this season, converting on three of five man advantage situations. Arizona is 17-4-1 when scoring a power play goal this year.

STOP THE BLEEDING: The Coyotes have now dropped three-straight games for the fourth time this season, it's only the second instance of all three losses coming in regulation. The team has benefited from not tailing into any extended losing streaks this season, and it'll look to cap its current skid tonight against the reeling Kings.

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LAST TIME AROUND

NOVEMBER 23, 2019 - ARIZONA (3) at LOS ANGELES (2)

Backed by spread scoring, the Coyotes defeated the Los Angeles Kings in the teams' previous meeting on November 23 at Staples Center, a 3-2 victory.

Phil Kessel scored in the first period, Lawson Crouse in the second, and Christian Fischer in the third to stymie the Kings' comeback efforts.

Antti Raanta made a season-high 43 saves in the win.

Arizona is 2-0-0 against Los Angeles this season.

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NUMBER TO KNOW

ONE HUNDRED (100)

Carl Soderberg 's next goal will serve as the 100th of his NHL career.

Additionally, Clayton Keller is two assists away from 100 career NHL assists and Vinnie Hinostroza is three points shy of 100 career NHL points.

Soderberg enters the night tied for second on the team in the goals scored this season with 13; he's complemented that with 14 assists to total 27 points through the first 52 games.

In 17 career games played against tonight's opponent, the Los Angeles Kings, Soderberg has 12 points (2G, 10A). Both of his goals scored against Los Angeles came last season as a member of the Colorado Avalanche.

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QUICK HITS

  • Nick Schmaltz leads the Coyotes in home scoring with 19 points (4G, 15A).
  • Arizona is 4-1-0 against the Kings in the teams' last five meetings at Gila River Arena.
  • Anze Kopitar has 74 points (21G, 53A) in 73 career games against the Coyotes.
  • Taylor Hall has 18 points (7G, 11A) in 24 career games against the Kings.
  • Jeff Carter is tied for third in the NHL with 6 game-winning goals.
  • Derek Stepan (6G, 7A) and Conor Garland (4G, 9A) co-lead the Coyotes in scoring against divisional opponents with 13 points.
  • The Coyotes' average of 6.6 PIM/G is the lowest in the NHL.
  • Arizona owns a 115-83-25-8 all-time record against Los Angeles.

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Lead Photo Credit: Christian Petersen - Getty Images // Footer Photo Credit: Norm Hall - NHLI via Getty Images // GIF Highlight Footage: Fox Sports Arizona

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