Kings-Coyotes Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 25, 2013
The Los Angeles Kings and Phoenix Coyotes are both angry from blown opportunities leading up to their first meeting since last year's Western Conference finals. Last season could be a distant memory for these teams at the bottom of the Pacific Division heading into Saturday night's matchup in Arizona. Los Angeles (0-2-1) allowed the tying goal with 4.7 seconds left in regulation in Thursday's 2-1 overtime loss at Edmonton. The Kings failed to make Jeff Carter's second-period goal stand up as the winner. "We should have won that game, we're not happy with ourselves," defenseman Drew Doughty said. That same night, Phoenix (1-3-0) built a two-goal lead early in the third period only to fall 5-3 at San Jose. "We gave it away," captain Shane Doan said. "We had control of the game, we were playing the way we wanted to, we were controlling every real aspect of the game and gave it away." The Kings haven't gone winless in their first four games since opening with three ties and two defeats in 1997-98. "Going into our next game, we gotta win that game, no ifs, ands or buts," Doughty said. "Right now we're way out of a playoff spot and we want to be in one for the rest of the season." Los Angeles won all three road games in the West finals last year, eliminating Phoenix in five. This is the Kings' first game in Glendale since Dustin Penner scored in overtime of a 2-1 victory in Game 5, calling it "the biggest goal of my career so far." Penner, however, was benched Thursday by coach Darryl Sutter after coming up empty in his first two games. The man Penner beat for the series-winning goal, Mike Smith, may not be available Saturday for Phoenix. Smith was scratched Thursday with a lower-body injury, with former Kings goalie Jason LaBarbera making his first start. Smith started every game of the Los Angeles series, posting a 2.46 goals-against average. Jonathan Quick had a 1.52 GAA in the West finals for the Kings. The series ended with Doan and Smith drawing game misconducts. They were angry about a hit from Kings captain Dustin Brown that knocked defenseman Michal Rozsival from the game just before Penner's goal. Dwight King scored a team-high four goals in the series for Los Angeles while Brown and Carter each tallied a team-best five points. Doan had a team-high two goals and tied Derek Morris for the club lead with three points. Los Angeles is 0 for 19 on the power play this season and went 2 for 27 in the series versus the Coyotes. Phoenix has allowed five power-play goals in 19 opportunities in 2013. The Kings will get their first look at a Coyotes team with veteran winger Steve Sullivan, who has four goals and an assist in his last two contests. His goal total matches Los Angeles' season output. Another Phoenix newcomer, center Matthew Lombardi, left in the second period Thursday with an upper-body injury. His status for this game is uncertain.
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