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Kings at Coyotes preview

Gaborik may make season debut for Los Angeles; Wedgewood expected to start for Arizona with Raanta sidelined

by Craig Morgan / Correspondent

KINGS (12-8-2) at COYOTES (5-16-3)

9 p.m. ET; FS-A, FS-W, NHL.TV 


The Game

Los Angeles Kings forward Marian Gaborik could make his season debut when the Kings visit the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on Friday.

Gaborik, 35, will be a game-time decision. He has been sidelined with a lower-body injury and has not played since the final game of last season on April 9. He has 794 points (396 goals, 398 assists) in 989 NHL games over 16 seasons.

Goaltender Darcy Kuemper is expected to start for the Kings, who are looking to avoid their third consecutive loss. Kuemper is 3-0-1 in four games against the Coyotes with a 1.00 goals-against average, a .958 save percentage and one shutout.

Arizona is 3-1-0 in its past four games following a five-game losing streak (0-3-2). Goaltender Scott Wedgewood is expected to start in place of No. 1 goaltender Antti Raanta, who left in the first period of a 3-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday with an upper-body injury.


Players to watch

Kings center Anze Kopitar has 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in his past 13 games, and has 66 points (17 goals, 49 assists) in 63 games against Arizona.

Coyotes forward Max Domi has eight points (three goals, five assists) in nine games against Los Angeles.


They said it

"He's very good in the face-off circle, skates really well, a really smart defensive player and plays hard. I think that element of speed and responsibility will be a really good addition." -- Kings coach John Stevens on the acquisition of center Torrey Mitchell in a trade with the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday; Mitchell will not play because of immigration issues

"We have to establish an identity a little bit at home. I don't think we have yet." -- Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet on Arizona's 1-7-1 record at Gila River Arena


Kings projected lineup

Alex Iafallo -- Anze Kopitar -- Tyler Toffoli

Tanner Pearson -- Adrian Kempe -- Dustin Brown

Andy Andreoff -- Nick Shore -- Trevor Lewis

Marian Gaborik -- Jussi Jokinen -- Jonny Brodzinski  

Jake Muzzin -- Drew Doughty

Oscar Fantenberg -- Alec Martinez

Derek Forbort -- Christian Folin

Darcy Kuemper

Jonathan Quick

Scratched: Kurtis MacDermid, Brooks Laich

Injured: Jeff Carter (lower body), Kyle Clifford (upper body), Nic Dowd (undisclosed)


Coyotes projected lineup

Brendan Perlini -- Derek Stepan -- Tobias Rieder

Clayton Keller -- Brad Richardson -- Christian Fischer

Max Domi -- Christian Dvorak -- Anthony Duclair

Jordan Martinook -- Nick Cousins -- Zac Rinaldo

Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- Jason Demers

Alex Goligoski -- Niklas Hjalmarsson

Kevin Connauton -- Luke Schenn

Scott Wedgewood

Marek Langhamer

Scratched: Mario Kempe, Joel Hanley

Injured: Antti Raanta (upper body), Jakob Chychrun (knee)


Status report

Raanta did not skate for a second straight day, and there is no timeline for his return. The Coyotes recalled Langhamer from Tucson of the American Hockey on an emergency basis on Thursday. Chychrun is week-to-week.


Stat pack

Keller has three assists in his past eight games after having 13 points (eight goals, five assists) in his previous 10 games.

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