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Coyotes return home to host Kings

by Brian Compton

KINGS (30-18-6) at COYOTES (24-18-10)


Last 10: Los Angeles 4-5-1; Phoenix 3-6-1

Season series: This is the third of five games between the Los Angeles Kings and Phoenix Coyotes. The Kings earned a 7-4 victory on Oct. 24 at Staples Center before the Coyotes responded with a 3-1 win at Arena five nights later.

Big story: Los Angeles went 154:43 without a goal before Anze Kopitar scored Monday. Jonathan Quick made sure it was enough, leading the Kings to a 1-0 win against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center.

The victory snapped the Kings' five-game skid.

Team Scope:

Kings: Quick found himself having to stop pucks until the very last second Monday, but he managed to find a way to keep it out and help Los Angeles finally end its losing streak. Quick finished with 23 saves and recorded his third shutout of the season.

Los Angeles hadn't won a regular-season game in San Jose since Dec. 27, 2010.

"You prepare to stop everything every game," Quick said. "If you don't think you're going to stop everything every game, you probably won't last in this league very long. It was a good win. We had a couple of [penalty kills] where we had to dig in there. [Kopitar] scores a beautiful goal there. That's a huge win for us. They're a great team in their own building."

Coyotes: Phoenix returns home after going 1-1-1 on a three-game road trip that ended with a 5-4 overtime loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday. The Coyotes enter Tuesday with 58 points, four behind the Minnesota Wild for the second wild card in the Western Conference.

Despite having three wins in the past 10 games, co-owner George Gosbee remains optimistic.

"All teams can go through slumps, and it's tough to keep that intensity going for the entire year," Gosbee told The Arizona Republic on Monday. "But we're not worried about the team. We like the direction they're going. I was out in Vancouver for the game [Sunday] night, and I thought the team played really well. It's unfortunate that we missed out on an overtime win, but they're intense and they're passionate about it. For me, there's no worries about it."

Phoenix announced Monday that it recalled defenseman Connor Murphy and assigned forward Jordan Szwarz to the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League.

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Murphy has one goal, seven assists and 10 penalty minutes in 21 games with the Coyotes this season. The 20-year-old native was the Coyotes' first-round pick (No. 20) at the 2011 NHL Draft.

Who's hot: Quick has allowed two or fewer goals in six of his past seven starts. … Coyotes forward Antoine Vermette had a hat trick Sunday. He has five goals and one assist in his past four games.

Injury report: Each team is boasting a healthy lineup. Kings defenseman Matt Greene returned from a concussion Monday after missing two weeks.

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