After finding success away from home over the past few weeks, the Los Angeles Kings now look to produce similar results in their own building.
On Saturday, the Kings seek to end a three-game losing streak at Staples Center when they face the Pacific Division rival Phoenix Coyotes.
Los Angeles (25-23-9) has played nine of its last 13 games on the road, posting a 7-2-0 record in those contests. The Kings carried a season-high five-game road winning streak into Thursday's game at San Jose, but fell 4-2 in their fourth defeat in five games overall.
"We didn't compete hard, we didn't win one-on-one battles, and that's the result of the game," said Kings leading scorer Anze Kopitar, who was held without a point for the third time in five games.
"We're fighting for a playoff position right now, and we're desperate for points. We need to play with a lot of energy every night. We can't look for excuses at this time of the year."
Los Angeles last reached the playoffs in 2001-02, and is currently 11th in the Western Conference - three points behind eighth-place Edmonton and two ahead of Phoenix (26-28-5), which is tied with St. Louis and Colorado for last in the standings.
Winning at home is imperative if the Kings are to reach the playoffs because only eight of their remaining 25 games will be played at Staples Center, where they've lost three straight (0-1-2). They are 3-6-4 at home since a season-high three-game winning streak there from Dec. 6-15.
But Los Angeles may find it difficult to end those woes versus the Coyotes, winners of four of the teams' last five matchups at Staples Center. The Kings have dropped eight of the last 11 meetings overall, losing the first two this season before winning 4-0 at Phoenix on Dec. 27 in the latest outing.
The Coyotes enter this contest with just two wins in 11 games since the All-Star break. They'd lost a season-high six straight in Phoenix, including the first three on a four-game homestand, before a 4-3 shootout victory over Atlanta on Thursday.
Daniel Carcillo, the league leader with 172 penalty minutes, scored the decisive goal in the eighth round of the tiebreaker for Phoenix, which now seeks back-to-back wins for the first time since Jan. 15-17.
"We've got to win every night," Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said. "If we're going to get in this race again we have to win four, five or six in a row."
Mikael Tellqvist was in net for Thursday's win but Ilya Bryzgalov is 6-1-0 with a 1.72 goals-against average in his last seven against the Kings, winning all three meetings in Los Angeles during that span.
Kings left wing Alexander Frolov has 17 goals and 30 points - his highest totals versus any opponent - in 35 games against the Coyotes. The team leader with 24 goals, Frolov has seven goals and nine assists in his last 12 contests overall.
Jon Quick could be back in net for Los Angeles after Erik Ersberg made 36 saves Thursday in his first start since Jan. 17. Quick is 8-2-1 with a 2.67 GAA in his last 12 games, and made 26 saves in a 4-0 victory at Phoenix in the latest matchup.