Previewing the Los Angeles Kings’ 2012-13 season:
Game 28 vs. Phoenix, March 18, 2013, 7:30pm PST (10:30pm EST)
The Los Angeles Kings look to build on their 5-2 win on Saturday against San Jose as they host the Phoenix Coyoteson Monday for the third of five meetings between the division rivals this season. Despite playing twice already, Monday night will mark the first team the Kings and Coyotes battle in Los Angeles this season.
The two teams split their first two meetings with the Kings picking up their first win of the season in Glendale back on January 26. The Coyotes got their revenge with a 5-2 win last Tuesday.
At 13-11-4, the Coyotes are just barely on the outside looking in on the Western playoff race and a win on Monday night will even them with the 15-10-2 Kings who enter Monday night’s contest with 32 points.
While the Kings have had their up-and-down moments this season, their play at home has been superior as they currently boast a record of 10-2-1 at Staples Center while the Coyotes are an unimpressive 3-6-2 away from Jobing.com Arena thus far. But don’t let that mark think easy win as the Desert Dogs are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games, just a tad worse than Los Angeles’ 6-4-0 mark in their last 10 outings.
After his first-career multi-goal game on Saturday, Kyle Clifford will hope to keep up his contributions for the Kings as will Tyler Toffoli who played with a mission in his NHL debut over the weekend. Defenseman Rob Scuderi is on a hot streak having recorded three assists in his last two outings and Dustin Brown is also on fire having scored five goals and two assists in his last five outings. Above all else, though, the Kings had 12 different players register a point en route to their win over the Sharks on Saturday. Long story short: the Coyotes cannot limit themselves to containing one or two Kings should they have any hope to win on Monday.
Radim Vrbata, who has had success against the Kings, is sidelined with a foot injury as is defenseman Zbynek Michalek who is out with an ankle injury. With that said, the Kings still have some weapons they need to shut down including captain Shane Doan who is notorious for agitating the silver-and-black both on the scoresheet and up and down the ice.
It’s another divisional battle without any love lost and Monday night should prove to be an exciting matchup.
Enjoy the game!