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Kings-Coyotes Preview

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GAME: Los Angeles Kings (40-34-5) at Phoenix Coyotes (36-38-5).

TIME: Thursday, 10 p.m. EDT.

The Los Angeles Kings look to avoid being eliminated from playoff contention when they visit the Phoenix Coyotes.

The Kings, in 10th place in the Western Conference, need to win their remaining three games and get a lot of help in order to avoid missing the playoffs for the third straight season.

Los Angeles has lost three straight and six of its last eight after a 4-2 defeat to Anaheim on Saturday. Craig Conroy and Nathan Dempsey scored for the Kings, who have just seven goals in their last seven games.

"We have no confidence in our ability and no confidence that we are doing it right," Jeremy Roenick said. "We just made too many mistakes."

Goaltender Mathieu Garon dropped to 5-10-0 with a 3.86 goals-against average in his last 15 starts. He is 2-1-1 with a 1.82 GAA against Phoenix this season.

Los Angeles will finish the regular season with a home meeting against Calgary on Saturday before visiting San Jose on Monday.

The contest with the Flames will mark the final regular-season home game for left wing Luc Robitaille, who announced his retirement Tuesday.

Robitaille, an eight-time All-Star, is the Kings' all-time leading goal-scorer with 557 and his 668 career goals make him the highest-scoring left wing in NHL history.

He has 15 goals and nine assists in 62 games this season.

The Coyotes, eliminated from playoff contention for the third straight season, have lost five in a row and have been outscored 24-11 in those games.

Derek Morris had a goal and an assist and Mike Comrie scored his team-leading 30th, but Phoenix allowed the first six goals of a 6-4 loss to Colorado on Tuesday.

Mike Ricci got the Coyotes on the board with his 10th goal of the season late in the second period, and Morris, Comrie and Josh Gratton tallied in a 6:21 span of the third to complete the scoring.

"We know we have to play every single night and have to play right off in the hockey game," assistant coach Barry Smith said. "You have to go at a full go. There are things to play for."

Paul Mara leads the Coyotes with nine points in seven games against the Kings this season.

STANDINGS: Kings - 85 points, 4th place, 24 PB, Pacific Division. Coyotes - 77 points, 5th place, 32 PB, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Kings - Mark Parrish, 28 goals; Lubomir Visnovsky, 50 assists and 67 points; Sean Avery, 257 PIM. Coyotes - Comrie, 30 goals; Ladislav Nagy, 41 assists; Shane Doan, 64 points and 123 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Kings - Power play: 14.4 percent (75 for 520), 28th in NHL. Penalty killing: 78.2 percent (367 for 469), 30th. Coyotes - Power play: 17.9 percent (93 for 519), 17th. Penalty killing: 80.4 percent (397 for 494), 23rd.

GOALTENDERS: Kings - Garon (31-25-3, 4 SO, 3.21 GAA); Jason LaBarbera (9-9-2, 3.17). Coyotes - Curtis Joseph (30-21-3, 2, 3.01); David LeNeveu (3-7-2, 3.18).

SEASON SERIES: Coyotes, 4-3.

LAST MEETING: March 14; Coyotes, 6-2. At Los Angeles, Geoff Sanderson had a goal and two assists as Phoenix snapped a 13-game road winless streak in the series. Robitaille scored for the Kings.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Kings - 15-20-4 on the road; Coyotes - 18-18-4 at home.

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