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Coyotes face Kings in quest to snap losing streak

by Eric Goodman
COYOTES (33-22-10) at KINGS (35-24-4)

TV -- FS-West(HD)

Last 10 --
Phoenix 6-3-1; Los Angeles 6-2-2

Season series -- This is the fifth of six meetings between these Pacific Division clubs. Phoenix won three of the four previous meetings this season and has also claimed victory in the last two games at Staples Center.

Big story --
The Kings expect newly-acquired forward Dustin Penner to make his debut Thursday after they sent defenseman Colton Teubert and two future draft picks to the Oilers at Monday's trade deadline. Meanwhile, the Coyotes will try to end a four-game losing streak, their longest since the 2008-09 season.

Team Scope:

Coyotes --
If there is one bright spot during this current rough patch for Phoenix, it's that newly-acquired defenseman Rostislav Klesla scored in his debut with his new team on Tuesday. However, the good news ended there as the 'Yotes gave up a game-winning power-play goal to the Dallas Stars with just 4.8 seconds left in regulation. Coyotes' forward Ray Whitney had knotted the game at two about 30 seconds before the Stars sealed the 3-2 victory on a tally by Jamie Benn.

"It's an awful way to lose a game," captain Shane Doan said.

Kings --
Los Angeles will look to redeem itself after a tough 7-4 loss to the Red Wings on Monday and it will have plenty of reasons to think positive with the expected debut of Penner. The 25-year-old right wing had 21 goals and 18 assists this season on a struggling Oilers team, but he is now expected to skate on the same line as dynamic center Anze Kopitar, who leads the club with 42 assists and 62 points and is tied for second on the Kings' goals list with 20.

"If I do get a chance to play with (Kopitar), obviously he's a big body and I think our styles would blend well together," Penner told the team's official website.

Who's hot --
Doan has reached the score sheet in eight of his last nine games for Phoenix, amassing 3 goals and 6 assists. … Defenseman Drew Doughty has a three-game points streak for the Kings with 2 goals and 2 assists over that span.

Injury report -- The Coyotes are still without penalty-killing defenseman Ed Jovanovski (orbital bone surgery). … Kings forward Scott Parse is out long-term due to hip surgery.

Stat pack -- It will be interesting to see how the Coyotes' penalty-killing unit performs on Thursday as it surrendered nine power-play goals during the current four-game losing streak but has allowed the Kings to score just once on 13 opportunities with the man advantage this season.

Puck drop --
No matter what your profession, it's always nice when the boss listens to your feedback and responds accordingly. And this is exactly what Kings general manager Dean Lombardi did at Monday's trade deadline.

"The players drove me to this," Lombardi said in regards to pulling the trigger at the deadline. "Going on that road trip and saying … 'Make us better without taking anybody out of the room.'"

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