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by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
The Kings hosted the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday afternoon as the two young teams continued to battle for a playoff spot in the Wild Western Conference. Entering play tonight, the Kings were just three points out of a playoff spot while the Coyotes were just two points back of the Kings.

Prior to the game, Denis Gauthier was suspended for his hit on Patrick Marleau in San Jose on Thursday night. He will miss today's game vs. Phoenix and Tuesday's game vs. Minnesota. Gauthier was suspended previously for five games this season from Feb. 3-12, as a result of a blow to the head against Montreal Canadiens’ defenseman Josh Gorges...more

Peter Harrold returned from the Kings fourth line and plugged into right defense opposite Kyle Quincey to take Gauthier's place. To fill Harrold's spot, John Zeiler was inserted into the lineup, his first game since Jan. 29.

The Coyotes Shane Doan and Dustin Brown skated on a line together at the 2009 All-Star game in Montreal...Kopitar has 17 points in the last 15 games (8-9=17) after assisting on Alexander Frolov's first-period goal...Raitis Ivanans played in his 200th NHL game...former King Olli Jokinen scored two goals for the Coyotes. Jokinen played in 74 games with Los Angeles from 1997-99, scoring 9-12=21 after being the Kings 1st round choice, 3rd overall, in 1997. Jokinen entered the game having scored just1-2=3 in 10 career games vs. LA.

Check out the Western Conference Standings: The Kings entered played today three points back of eighth place for the Western Conference's final playoff spot.

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