The Phoenix Coyotes can still avoid finishing last in the Western Conference. Doing so would mean the Los Angeles Kings will have taken their place.
The visiting Coyotes will try for a second straight victory over the Kings on Saturday in a matchup between the two weakest teams in the conference.
Phoenix (30-45-5) snapped a five-game losing streak with a 3-2 home win over Los Angeles (26-41-14) on Thursday and moved within a point of the Kings, who are one spot ahead of the last-place Coyotes.
Though it would seem a small consolation, a victory in regulation Saturday would guarantee the Coyotes of not finishing in last place in the West and Los Angeles would. Playing in their season finale, the Kings will look to avoid losing a seventh straight game.
Phoenix, which hosts Vancouver on Sunday to close out its season, is 4-2-1 against Los Angeles this season. The Coyotes have won the last two meetings, including a 3-2 victory at Staples Center on Jan. 20.
Jeremy Roenick scored his second goal in as many games and added an assist Thursday for Phoenix. He has two goals and four points in his last three games.
"It's been a good couple weeks for me," said Roenick, who has indicated he may retire after his 18th NHL season. "I don't know if these are the last couple, but I'd like to think I'm trying to play like they are."
Coyotes goalie Curtis Joseph earned his first win since March 22 to move within two victories of Terry Sawchuk, who is in fourth place on the all-time list. Joseph, who will start Saturday, is 2-1-0 against Los Angeles this season and has a 2.32 goals-against average in 43 games versus the Kings.
"I think a lot of us should be playing for Cuj," Roenick said. "Cuj can be getting into the upper echelon of goaltenders. He's already there. But he can pass a couple of guys now and I think we should be playing for him now."
Michael Cammalleri had a goal and an assist Thursday for Los Angeles, which has been outscored 24-10 during its six-game skid.
"We thought it would be crucial to come out and have a good start, but they did it to us," Cammalleri said. "We've had lots of chances to win games this year, but it's time to start winning some of these."
Cammalleri, who has set career marks for goals (33) and assists (46) this season, has two goals and four assists in his last four games. The fourth-year center has three goals and seven assists in seven contests against the Coyotes this season.
Both of these teams will miss the playoffs for the fourth straight season.