The Los Angeles Kings attempt to begin a new winning streak as they take a break between three-game homestands Thursday to visit the Pacific Division-rival Arizona Coyotes. Los Angeles had its season-high five-game winning streak snapped Wednesday when it suffered a 4-1 loss to San Jose that also ended its string of six consecutive victories at Staples Center.
The Kings, who have a grueling nine-game trip coming up later this month, were triumphant in Anaheim on Nov. 20 after suffering through a four-game road slide (0-3-1) during which they scored a total of five goals and are just 3-7-1 away from home this season. Arizona is hoping to extend its point streak to four games after concluding its 1-0-1 trek with an overtime loss in San Jose on Tuesday. Max Domi scored the lone goal for the Coyotes in the setback to remain tied for the team scoring lead with Radim Vrbata, who also notched his 15th point of the season with an assist. Domi, who recorded 18 goals as a rookie last campaign, has tallied in three of his last five contests after scoring just once in his first 16 games.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, FSN West (Los Angeles), FSN Arizona
ABOUT THE KINGS (12-10-1): Marian Gaborik, who made his season debut Saturday after missing Los Angeles’ first 21 games with a broken foot, registered an assist against San Jose for his first point of 2016-17. Former captain Dustin Brown celebrated playing in his 200th consecutive contest Wednesday by ending his five-game goal-scoring drought but finished with a minus-1 rating for the fourth straight match. Alec Martinez, who had his five-game point streak halted by the Sharks, is one goal away from passing Garry Galley (44) for eighth place on the franchise list among defensemen.
ABOUT THE COYOTES (8-10-3): The status of Oliver Ekman-Larsson remains up in the air because of an upper-body injury that forced the defenseman to exit Tuesday’s game after two periods. “It’s something he’s dealing with, but everyone is dealing with something at this point in the season,” general manager John Chayka told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM on Wednesday. “We have a day off today, a maintenance day, so he’ll kind of get that looked after, and we hope he’s in the lineup (Thursday) because he’s our star player.” Backup goaltender Louis Domingue could be back in uniform versus the Kings after missing the last three games with a lower-body injury.
1. Coyotes captain Shane Doan will pass Wayne Gretzky for 19th place on the all-time list by playing in his 1,488th career game Thursday.
2. Kings G Peter Budaj has appeared in each of the team’s last 21 games, starting 19 of them.
3. Arizona G Mike Smith has faced 42 shots in each of his last two starts.
PREDICTION: Coyotes 3, Kings 2