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Red-hot Kings set to visit Coyotes

by Brian Compton

KINGS (14-8-2) at COYOTES (12-10-3)


Last 10: Los Angeles 9-1-0; Phoenix 5-4-1.

Season series: This is the second of five meetings between the Pacific Division rivals. The Kings earned a 4-2 win against the Coyotes on Jan. 26 at Arena.

Big story: After a sluggish start, the champs are here. Los Angeles enters Tuesday’s action having won nine of its past 11 games, trimming the Anaheim Ducks’ lead atop the Pacific to just nine points. Phoenix, meanwhile, has earned points in six of 10 and trails the Kings by just three points.

Team scope:

Kings: Los Angeles hits the road for a pair of games after concluding a five-game homestand Monday in a 3-1 victory against the Calgary Flames at Staples Center. Dustin Brown scored twice for the Kings, while Jonathan Quick held the Flames off the scoreboard until the 14:38 mark of the third period.

Los Angeles has won eight of its last nine on home ice.

“It wasn’t clean,” Jarret Stoll said of Monday’s win. “It’s wasn’t pretty. It was hack-and-whack out there a lot of times. Pucks were all over the place, and sometimes it seems like there were more than one or two pucks out there. We found a way to win.”

Coyotes: Phoenix bounced back from a 6-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues by earning a 2-1 win against the Dallas Stars at Arena on Saturday. Tuesday marks the end of a three-game homestand for the Coyotes, as they’ll begin a four-game road trip Thursday at St. Louis.

Rob Klinkhammer’s first goal in the National Hockey League proved to be the game-winner against the Stars, a moment the 26-year-old will never forget.

“I waited and worked my whole life for that moment. It's been a pretty long road,” said Klinkhammer, who was never drafted and toiled in the American Hockey League since 2007 – other than 16 NHL games with Chicago and Ottawa. “I was so open and I didn't think (teammate Boyd Gordon) was going to find me. I just knew he was going to shoot it.

“Then he slid it over and it shocked me how much time I had. It took awhile to find someone to hug.”

Who’s hot: Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin has three goals and three assists over his past four games and ranks third in points (10) among rookie blueliners. … Phoenix captain Shane Doan has four goals in the past six games.

Injury report: Los Angeles will be without defensemen Willie Mitchell (knee) and Matt Greene (back). … The Coyotes are missing David Schlemko (shoulder) and Radim Vrbata (lower body), who are both on injured reserve.

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