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Kings at Coyotes preview

Los Angeles 1-8-4 in past 13 games; Arizona has won seven of eight

by Alan Robinson / NHL.com Correspondent

KINGS (24-35-8) at COYOTES (33-29-5)

8 p.m. ET; FS-A, FS-W, NHL.TV

 

The Game

The Arizona Coyotes go for their eighth win in nine games when they play the Los Angeles Kings at Gila River Arena on Saturday.

Arizona, 7-1-0 in its past eight games, is three points behind the Minnesota Wild for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. 

The Kings lost to the St. Louis Blues 4-0 at Staples Center on Thursday and have lost 12 of 13 (1-8-4). They've split two games with the Coyotes this season.

Coyotes goalie Darcy Kuemper is 8-1-0 with two shutouts in his past nine starts. He made 30 saves in the Coyotes' 2-0 win over the Calgary Flames on Thursday, his third shutout of the season.

 

Players to watch

Kings forward Anze Kopitar has four points (two goals, two assists) in his past four games and 73 points (20 goals, 53 assists) in 69 games against the Coyotes.

Coyotes forward Alex Galchenyuk has 10 points (six goals, four assists) in his past 13 games.

 

They said it

"For us, we better be ready. If we think they're the Arizona of old, we're wrong because they're not. They've gone into a lot of tough buildings and won, and they're going to be playing hard." -- Kings coach Willie Desjardins

"We've played the way we want to play regardless of who was in the lineup. … I saw everyone put in 100 percent and buy into the system and the philosophy. We've had some key injuries and we're right there to make the playoffs." -- Coyotes forward Michael Grabner, who returned Thursday after missing 41 games with an eye injury

 

Kings projected lineup

Alex Iafallo -- Anze Kopitar -- Dustin Brown

Brendan Leipsic -- Jeff Carter -- Ilya Kovalchuk

Tyler Toffoli -- Adrian Kempe -- Carl Grundstrom

Kyle Clifford -- Trevor Lewis -- Jonny Brodzinski

Derek Forbort -- Drew Doughty

Alec Martinez -- Sean Walker

Dion Phaneuf -- Matt Roy

Jonathan Quick

Jack Campbell

Scratched: Paul LaDue, Kurtis MacDermid

Injured: Austin Wagner (lower body)

 

Coyotes projected lineup

Richard Panik -- Christian Dvorak -- Clayton Keller

Michael Grabner -- Brad Richardson -- Vinnie Hinostroza

Alex Galchenyuk -- Nick Cousins -- Christian Fischer

Lawson Crouse -- Mario Kempe -- Josh Archibald

Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- Niklas Hjalmarsson

Jakob Chychrun -- Alex Goligoski

Jordan Oesterle -- Jason Demers

Darcy Kuemper

Calvin Pickard

Scratched:, Ilya Lyubushkin, Conor Garland, Kevin Connauton

Injured: Derek Stepan (lower body), Antti Raanta (lower body), Nick Schmaltz (lower body), Kyle Capobianco (lower body)

 

Status report

Grundstrom was recalled from Ontario of the American Hockey League and will make his NHL debut. … Wagner could return Thursday against the Nashville Predators.

 

Stat pack

Brown has three goals and one assist in his past five games. … The Coyotes are 5-1-0 on a seven-game homestand. … Kuemper is 16-4-3 since Jan. 1. … Arizona last made the playoffs in 2011-12.

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