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Preview: Coyotes vs. Kings

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

GAME 80:

Coyotes (38-33-8) vs. Kings (29-41-9) 

Arizona will attempt to make a move up the Western Conference standings when it plays Los Angeles on Tuesday night in Glendale.

WHERE: Gila River Arena | WHEN: 7 p.m. (AZ time) | TV: FOX Sports Arizona Plus | RADIO: ESPN 620 AM

Tweet from @ArizonaCoyotes: We're going with the same lineup as Sunday.


• Arizona will enter the game with 84 points, two behind Colorado, which owns the second wildcard spot in the Western Conference standings. Both teams have three games left. Colorado hosts Edmonton on Tuesday.

• The Coyotes have won seven of their past 10 games against the Kings (7-3-0), including two out of three games played this season. 

Darcy Kuemper will make his 21st consecutive start. The NHL on Monday named Kuemper its Third Star of the Week thanks to his 2-0-1 record, 0.65 goals-against average and .979 save percentage in three starts from March 25-31. Kuemper has played 188:14 without allowing an even-strength goal, which is the 12th longest such streak in franchise history.

RELATED CONTENT: NHL Names Kuemper No. 3 Star of the Week

Alex Galchenyuk leads the Coyotes with 18 goals, including eight power-play goals. He's scored 38 power-play goals since breaking into the NHL in 2012-13. That total ranks tied for 10th among U.S.-born skaters during that time span.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who ranks seventh among NHL defensemen with 14 goals, will enter the game riding a three-game point streak. 

Niklas Hjalmarsson, who played in his 750th NHL game on Sunday, needs to block two more shots to set a new career-high for blocks in one season. Hjalmarsson ranks second in the NHL with 180 blocked shots. He blocked a career-best 181 shots for Chicago in 2016-17. 

• The Coyotes are 10-1-1 in their past 12 games at Gila River Arena, and outscored opponents, 38-16, in those games. 

Video: Tocchet Likes Coyotes' Commitment To Defense


Los Angeles, which ranks 30th in the NHL with 67 points, lost to Calgary, 7-2, on Tuesday night at Staples Center ... The Kings have scored just 189 goals this season; only Anaheim (188) has scored fewer ... LA is 4-2-1 in its past seven games, including wins over playoff-bound Calgary and San Jose ... Anze Kopitar, who leads the Kings with 58 points, played in his 1,000th NHL game on Tuesday. Only three players have played more games with the franchise: Dustin Brown (1,114), Dave Taylor (1,111) and Luc Robitaille (1,077) ... Brown has scored a team-high 22 goals ... Drew Doughty leads the Kings with 37 assists and ranks second in the NHL in ice time per game at 26:41 ... Michael Amadio will enter the game with a four-game point streak (one goal, three assists) ... The Kings pulled goalie Jonathan Quick in the third period of Tuesday's game after he allowed seven goals on 25 shots. He's allowed 14 goals in his past three appearances (0-2-1).

Video: Crouse: 'We're A Desperate Hockey Team'


• "Guys are taking it personal, their defense. If they get beat, or if there are some chances, you can tell guys are upset about it. They don't like that, and I love that feeling. They hang their hat on this team as a team that defends well." -- Rick Tocchet

• "They have a lot of skilled guys on their team that have won Stanley Cups, and they have a good group of young guys who are still trying to prove themselves and getting better everyday, so we can't look past these guys. We know that, and coach has been emphasizing to just focus on tonight and on our system, versus how they play." -- Jordan Oesterle

• "We're a desperate hockey team right now. We know what's at stake and we know we have to be on our 'A' game … Obviously, Darcy (Kuemper) has been our backbone this year, and down the stretch he's played incredible. He's been on his game and when you have a confident goalie behind you it's that much more easy to play when you know you have that guy behind you." -- Lawson Crouse  

Video: Oesterle: 'Focus On Tonight And On Our System'

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