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Pre-Game Capsule: Coyotes at Kings

by Dave Vest @davest4yotes / Coyotes Sr. Director of News Content

GAME 78:

Coyotes (27-39-11) at Kings (42-28-7)

Arizona will try to stretch its winning streak to three games when it plays Los Angeles on Thursday night in the final game of a six-game road trip.

WHERE: Staples Center

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. (AZ time)

TV: FOX Sports Arizona Plus

RADIO: ESPN 620 AM

Video: Tocchet: 'Haven't Had Any Passengers'

KEY FACTS: 

• The Coyotes are 3-2-0 thus far on a six-game road trip, including back-to-back wins over NHL powerhouses Tampa Bay on Monday and Vegas on Wednesday. 

• Arizona, which is 15-7-2 in its past 24 games, has posted a 2-8-1 record in the second game of back-to-back games this season. 

Darcy Kuemper will get the start in net vs. the Kings. Kuemper played 19 games with LA this season before being traded to Arizona in February. In one of his final games at Staples Center, Kuemper made 27 saves in a 6-0 shutout of the Coyotes on Feb. 3.

• Coyotes defensemen have produced 44 of the team's 193 goals this season. Oliver Ekman-Larsson leads the way with 13 goals, followed by Alex Goligoski (11) and Kevin Connauton (9), who scored twice in Arizona's 3-2 win at Vegas on Wednesday. Only three other NHL teams - Nashville (52), Philadelphia (48) and Columbus (47) - have gotten more goal production from their blueliners.

Tweet from @ArizonaCoyotes: Here's tonight's projected lineup in LA.Who ya got to score first? #YOTES pic.twitter.com/HIia5WYetC

Clayton Keller will enter tonight's game with a career-high 10-game point streak, in which he's notched 14 points (five goals and nine assists). Keller, who also is riding a six-game assist streak, ranks second among NHL rookies with 62 points and 39 assists, and fifth in goals with 23.

Luke Schenn leads the team and ranks 18th in the NHL with 199 hits, including a season-high 10 he delivered in Wednesday's game at Vegas.

Richard Panik has scored four goals in the past six games and is averaging a point per game over the past seven games. He's seeking his first point vs. LA in what will be his 11th game against the Kings.

• Los Angeles has gone 7-4-2 in March and is in third place in the Pacific Division standings with 91 points. The Kings rank first in the League in penalty-kill percentage at 84.9, and haven't given up a power-play goal in six consecutive games. Anze Kopitar leads LA with 34 goals, 54 assists and 88 points. Jeff Carter is expected to play in his 900th NHL game and his 400th game with the Kings tonight. Backup goalie Jack Campbell will start in net for LA. He's 1-0-2 with a 2.61 goals-against average in four appearances this season.

COYOTE BITES

• "We have plenty. That's part of playing in the NHL, you have to be ready to go back to back and take care of yourself and answer the call when it comes." -- Kevin Connauton team's energy level at end of long trip

• "Since that 6-0 game (at LA) our team has actually played pretty well. I think we were embarrassed by it. It's going to be a tough game for us. I know it's been a long trip and guys are getting tired, but we've been relying on the bench, we haven't had any passengers, and we're getting good goaltending. When you have that you have a chance to win." -- Rick Tocchet 

• "They're a good veteran group and they're good on the walls. They have a lot of big bodies, so we've got to win those battles on the wall and not turn pucks over and feed their offense, and just make it a hard game for them. That's why we've had some success (vs. LA)." -- Alex Goligoski on Kings 

Video: Goligoski: 'Have to be into it Mentally'

 

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