Kings host Coyotes aiming to reclaim playoff spot

( – The Los Angeles Kings hope to reclaim a Western
Conference wild card spot on Monday evening when they welcome the Arizona
Coyotes to Staples Center.

The Kings failed to record a point for the first time in six games (4-1-1) on
Saturday, falling to the Nashville Predators by a 2-1 score. That setback,
coupled with a win by Winnipeg, dropped Los Angeles a point behind the Jets
for the second wild card spot in the West.

Los Angeles has played one fewer game than idle Winnipeg and also has a game
in hand over the Calgary Flames, who the Kings trail by two points for third
place in the Pacific Division.

The Kings took a 1-0 lead into the third period versus the Preds thanks to a
goal from Jeff Carter, but yielded a pair of goals over a 1:06 span to fall in
defeat. Nashville’s second goal game when L.A. defenseman Jake Muzzin
accidentally redirected the puck into his own net.

Jonathan Quick made 20 stops in the loss.

“Any game at this time of year is tough to lose,” said Kings forward Dwight

The Kings were without forward Jarret Stoll due to an undisclosed injury,
ending his consecutive games played streak at 128 games. His status for this
game is unknown.

Quick figures to start and is 15-13-4 with a 2.58 goals against average, .906
save percentage and five shutouts in his career versus the Coyotes.

Arizona comes in having concluded a six-game homestand with four losses in a
row, including Saturday’s 4-1 setback to the New Jersey Devils. Shane Doan had
a goal and Mike Smith yielded four goals on 29 shots faced.

The Coyotes have lost 14 of 15 and 16 of their past 18 games, scoring just
three goals over their current losing streak while getting held to one goal or
fewer in eight of the past 10.

“I think we make a lot of goalies look good,” Arizona coach Dave Tippett told “We play against some very good goaltenders and (Devils netminder
Cory) Schneider is a very good one, but as good as they are we end up making
some of them look pretty good.”

Smith does have solid career numbers against the Kings, going 11-5-1 with a
2.26 GAA and .925 save percentage in 18 games.

The Kings have won three of their past four versus the Coyotes overall and
nine of the last 11 played in Los Angeles.