Posted October 24, 2013 on AP on Fox
Mike Ribeiro has a seven-game point streak and so do the Phoenix Coyotes. Ribeiro and the Coyotes try to extend their streaks in Thursday night's road game against the Los Angeles Kings, a team that hasn't been too kind to either of late. Ribeiro notched his first point in a Coyotes sweater on Oct. 10 at Detroit and he hasn't stopped. His team has gone 5-0-2 for its first seven-game stretch with at least one point since it went all 12 games in February 2012 without a regulation loss. The Coyotes (6-2-2) are off to their best 10-game start since going 7-1-2 to open the 2000-01 season. Ribeiro has four goals in his last two games, including a pair in Tuesday's 4-2 victory against Calgary. He scored the winner, breaking a 2-all tie at 5:47 in the third. "He likes to make a difference in games and he's doing that for us right now," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. Ribeiro's point streak is his longest since an eight-game run (three goals, eight assists) with Dallas in February 2012. "It took a while for me to get comfortable with the guys and for them to know me and, I guess to like me," said Ribeiro, who didn't record a point in Phoenix's 1-2-0 start. "So now that we did that, I'm comfortable and it's fun to come to work." Ribeiro, however, has no goals and three assists in his last seven against the Kings, while Radim Vrbata - tied with Ribeiro for the team lead in goals with five - hasn't scored in his last eight in the series. Phoenix played Tuesday without captain Shane Doan, who has a lower-body injury and is considered a game-time decision against Los Angeles. Doan has six goals in his last seven games in this series. The Coyotes, though, haven't been very good against their Pacific Division rivals recently. Including the 2012 Western Conference finals, Phoenix is 3-7-0 in its last 10 games versus Los Angeles. The Kings (6-4-0) didn't have similar success Monday against another Pacific club, falling 3-2 at home to Calgary. After giving up just four power-play goals through their first nine games, they allowed three against the Flames - including the back-breaker with 29.7 seconds in the third period. "I thought we looked fatigued," coach Darryl Sutter said. "Tonight was 10 (games) in 19 (days), and the other team was clearly fresher than ours. It made a big difference." No even-strength goals were scored in the game. Jeff Carter scored a short-handed goal for the Kings to tie it at 2 while Drew Doughty scored on the power play. Carter has a team-high five goals after finishing fourth in the NHL with 26 last season. After going a combined 27-5-1 at home in the regular season and playoffs last year, the Kings are off to a 2-2 start at Staples Center. Center Anze Kopitar enters Thursday without a goal in his last 26 regular-season games.. Fellow center Mike Richards is also without a goal this year, though they've combined for 14 assists. Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith was 4-2-1 with a 1.00 goals-against average and two shutouts in his first seven career starts in Los Angeles before giving up seven goals in a pair of losses there last season. Jonathan Quick is 3-2-0 with a 0.81 GAA and two shutouts in his last five home starts versus Phoenix.
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