COYOTES (6-2-2) at KINGS (6-4-0)
7:30PM PT, TV: FOX SPORTS WEST; RADIO: AM 1150
BAD BLOOD: The Kings and Coyotes have developed quite the rivalry the previous couple of years, especially since the Kings eliminated the ‘Yotes in the 2012 Western Conference Finals. We Shane Doan’t like them.
AS BIG AS IT GETS: But without the limelight. The Kings are playing a divisional opponent again, and will be facing a Pacific division opponent in their next four contests, equaling to a five-game inter-divison stretch if you include Monday night’s date with Calgary. The points that are up for grabs tonight will be just as important as the ones available in March. Get to it early.
DRY AS THE DESERT: Anze Kopitar has 44 career points against the Phoenix Coyotes, which is more points than the Slovenian has in his career against any other team in the entire NHL. He currently leads the Kings’ roster in points with eight assists, but has yet to record a goal. Does #11 strike twine tonight?
REGULATION SIZE: The Phoenix Coyotes haven’t lost a game in regulation time in their previous seven contests. The Kings, however, have solidified four of their six wins this season past regulation, coming in extra time. Can the Kings oust the ‘Yotes in 60 minutes tonight at STAPLES Center?
LIKE IT’S BEEN: Dating back to the 2012 Western Conference Finals, the Kings have beaten the Coyotes in six of their last eight match-ups. The Kings would be best suited following their trend against Phoenix the previous two years, pulling off a win tonight, especially after coming off of such a horrific loss to the Calgary Flames.
OLD LUCK: The last time the Phoenix Coyotes visited STAPLES Center, it was for back-to-back visits on March 18th and 19th of last season and it’s shortened, condensed schedule. The Kings swept Phoenix in their two-day stay by a combined score of 7-2, and played in front of home fans for the final time in their purple and black crown “Los Angeles” hemline uniforms. Can the Kings forego and continue upon their recent dominance against the Coyotes tonight at STAPLES Center?