(SportsNetwork.com) – The reigning Stanley Cup champions will try to begin a
four-game homestand with a second straight victory, as the Los Angeles Kings
welcome the Arizona Coyotes for Saturday’s afternoon clash at Staples Center.
The Kings recently went 1-3-1 on a five-game road trip and lost the final
three tests of that swing to fall to 4-7-5 as the guest this season. However,
Los Angeles halted that three-game slide and improved to 12-4-1 in the City of
Angels thanks to Thursday’s 6-4 triumph over the St. Louis Blues.
The Blues, who posted a 5-2 home win over L.A. on Tuesday, scored the first
three goals in the rematch, but were unable to complete the home-and-home
sweep as L.A. rallied from deficits of 3-0 and 4-3 to take the finale.
Jeff Carter, Jake Muzzin and Dwight King each scored in the third period,
while Anze Kopitar had a goal and four assists for a career-high five points.
Carter also registered three assists and Marian Gaborik scored twice and set
up another one for the Kings.
Jonathan Quick finished with 24 saves to earn the victory.
“Some other teams would probably pack it in after the 3-0 (deficit), but not
this team. We have a lot of character,” Kopitar said.
Defenseman Robyn Regehr sustained an upper-body injury in the second period of
Thursday’s tilt and was placed on injured reserve the following day. He is
expected to miss 2-to-3 weeks.
The Kings have taken two of the last three meetings with the Coyotes and are
1-0-1 so far in the 2014-15 season series. L.A. recorded a 4-0 win in Arizona
on Dec. 4, with Martin Jones stopping 26 shots for the shutout victory.
The Coyotes have lost eight of their last 10 games in L.A.
Arizona also halted a losing streak in its last trip to the ice, snapping a
five-game slide with a dramatic overtime victory Tuesday in Edmonton. The
Coyotes handed the Oilers a 2-1 setback thanks to Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s game-
winner with just 0.3 seconds left in OT.
With time winding down and the game seemingly destined for a shootout, Martin
Erat skated the puck into the Edmonton zone and dished it to his right for Sam
Gagner, who then fired the puck over to the left wing where a skating Ekman-
Larsson blasted a shot into the right corner of the net just before the final
It was Ekman-Larsson’s seventh goal of the season and his third overtime
tally, tying him with Shane Doan and Paul MacLean for the most OT winners in
one season in club history.
“I like playing 4-on-4,” Ekman-Larsson said. “You get a lot of space and I
feel like I’m playing with a lot of confidence when it’s 4-on-4.”
Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos holds the NHL record with five OT winners in
Brandon McMillan scored his first goal of the season in Tuesday’s win, while
Devan Dubnyk stopped 30 shots for the Coyotes, who snapped a nine-game home
losing streak and won in front of their fans for the first time since Nov. 4
Arizona is 6-8-1 as the guest this season and is kicking off a three-game road
Dubnyk will get the start again today over the slumping Mike Smith and is
4-3-1 lifetime versus the Kings with a 2.19 goals against average and .933
Quick is 14-13-4 with a 2.60 GAA in this matchup, while Jones’ only appearance
against the Coyotes came in the 4-0 win earlier this month.