|7:00 PM PT8:00 PM MT9:00 PM CT10:00 PM ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 PM MST9:00 PM EST6:00 UAE (+1)22:00 ET23:00 BRT, April 5, 2021
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California Attendance: 0
Slumping Kings need wins entering two-game set vs. Coyotes
Arizona Coyotes at Los Angeles Kings
- Los Angeles has taken two of the three meetings this season and three of the last four matchups, but the Coyotes have won their last two trips to Los Angeles, including a 3-2 victory on March 3. Four of the last five meetings between the Coyotes and Kings have been decided by one goal, while the February 20 meeting -- a 4-2 Kings win -- featured an empty-netter with 13 seconds remaining in regulation.
- Arizona swept the Ducks in Anaheim last weekend and has won five of its last six games, allowing two goals or fewer in four of those wins. The Coyotes are 3-1-1 (.700) in the second half of back-to-backs this season after going 2-6-4 (.333) in such games last season.
- Jakob Chychrun scored all three Coyotes goals Sunday night, including the overtime game-winner, his career-high third game-winning goal this season -- he had three in his first four seasons combined. He's the second Coyotes blueliner to record a hat trick (including playoffs), joining Ed Jovanovski on November 3, 2010.
- Monday will mark Phil Kessel's 883rd consecutive game, one behind Steve Larmer for the fifth-longest ironman streak in NHL history and the third-longest active streak behind Keith Yandle (905) and Patrick Marleau (891). Kessel leads the Coyotes with 15 goals this season, including an NHL-most 10 third-period goals.
- Los Angeles lost both of its home games to San Jose last weekend and has lost five of its last six games, scoring just 10 goals in that span. The Kings have a plus-13 power-play goal differential, second in the NHL behind the Avalanche (+17), but their minus-18 even-strength goal differential is sixth worst in the league.
- Anze Kopitar has scored a point in each of his last five games against the Coyotes and has 80 points (21g, 59a) in 77 career games against Arizona -- 11th most all-time and second among active skaters to Joe Thornton's 89 points.
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The Los Angeles Kings hope to catch an updraft and get to where the Arizona Coyotes are perched, but they're quickly running out of time.
The Kings are scheduled to host the Coyotes in the opener of their two-game set on Monday.
Arizona moved into fourth place in the West Division on Friday with a 4-2 win at the Anaheim Ducks, and expanded their edge to three points over the fifth-place St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks by rallying for a 3-2 overtime win in the second meeting in Anaheim on Sunday.
"Win or lose, I need an even keel from this team," Arizona coach Rick Tocchet said.
The Coyotes have won five of six and six of eight while simultaneously taking advantage of a major slide by the Blues, who have lost six in a row and 11 of 13.
The Sharks, who swept a two-game set in Los Angeles over the weekend, have also taken advantage of the opening left by the Blues while also winning six of their past eight.
The Kings, meanwhile, have dropped five of their past six and eight of 11 to fall seven points out of the final playoff spot in the West with 20 games left, including five against Arizona.
Kings coach Todd McLellan said nobody is more aware of the playoff scenario than the coaching staff and players. They also know there will be more movement in the standings with nothing but division games left on the schedule.
"Let's not kid each other," he said. "We've had a six-game winning streak, and then we've gone the other way. "It happens to teams. There's lots of hockey left, and we just have to find ways here."
The Coyotes are feeling confident after rallying from 2-1 deficits to win both games in Anaheim.
Adin Hill has started the past six games for the Coyotes, but they could get Darcy Kuemper back from injury on Monday.
Arizona forward Tyler Pitlick also drove out to Southern California and is a possibility for Monday, Tocchet said.
Among the players who are playing well for the Coyotes is Jakob Chychrun, who recorded his first NHL hat trick in the 3-2 overtime win on Sunday.
"He's a double-digit goal scorer," Tocchet said. "He's having a hell of a year for us."
Alex Goligoski, who had just two assists in the first 32 games this season, has a goal and five assists in his past six games, and Nick Schmaltz is riding a five-game point streak (two goals, four assists).
Getting three goals against Arizona will be key for the Kings, who are 4-0-0 in their past 12 games when scoring more than two goals, and 0-8-0 when they don't.
The power play can usually provide a boost for a struggling offense, but the Kings are scoreless on their past 20 power plays.
"It's an old cliche, any time a coach is saying we have to find ways, it's used too often, but it is what it is," McLellan said. "We've got to go out and win a few games coming up."
--Field Level Media
Updated April 5, 2021