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Kings wrap up road trip by facing Coyotes

by Eric Goodman

KINGS (20-12-3) at COYOTES (14-15-6)


Last 10: Los Angeles 6-3-1; Phoenix 2-5-3

Season series: This is the fifth and final meeting between these Pacific Division clubs. The Kings hold the advantage with a 3-1-0 record this season and are 2-1-2 in their last five regular-season games played at Arena.

Big story: Los Angeles wraps up a five-game road trip Tuesday in Phoenix and hopes to extend its point streak to five. Kings' defenseman Jake Muzzin was named Rookie of the Month for March on Monday with 11 points (4g, 7a) and a plus-10 rating in 17 games. The Coyotes have been reeling recently with just one win in their last nine games, including two straight losses to the Kings.

Team Scope:

Kings: Los Angeles had dropped two straight home games by shutout before embarking on its current five-game road trip, so it has to be happy with the positive results away from Staples Center. A 3-2 win at the Dallas Stars on Sunday gave the Kings a 3-0-1 start on the trip. Forward Brad Richardson returned to the lineup to play his first game since Feb. 10 as he was a healthy scratch for 32 of the Kings' 35 games this season. Richardson and Justin Williams scored over a minute apart from each other in the third period to help Los Angeles to the victory.

"[Richardson provided] some energy and some speed," coach Darryl Sutter told reporters after the game. "Him and I have a good relationship and I feel bad not playing him. He's a guy that can play anywhere in your lineup. It's been hard for him."

Coyotes: While Phoenix has not quite dominated at home, with just a 10-7-1 record this season, it also hasn't suffered a three-game losing streak at Arena in 2012-13. The team will try to avoid that third loss as it welcomes the Kings to the desert. The Coyotes have been without starting goalie Mike Smith since March 21 with an upper-body injury, and will need backup goalie Jason LaBarbera to turn it up considerably if they want to get back into playoff contention. The former Kings goalie surrendered 13 goals over his last four starts for Phoenix.

"We're running out of games to get points in," said captain Shane Doan after the Coyotes' 3-2 shootout loss at San Jose on Saturday. "It's getting more and more desperate -- we have to find better ways to win."

Who's hot: Williams is in the midst of a three-game goal scoring streak for the Kings. … Doan has four goals and an assist in the Coyotes' first four games against the Kings this season.

Injury report: The Kings are missing defensemen Willie Mitchell (knee) and Matt Greene (back). … Coyotes forward Lauri Korpikoski (upper body) missed the past three games and remains day-to-day. Smith and defenseman Zbynek Michalek (lower body) are on injured reserve.

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