Arizona (23-15-9) at Los Angeles (24-21-1)

Fair Currently: Los Angeles, CA
Temp: 70° F
  • Game info: 10:30 pm EST Thu Jan 20, 2011
  • TV: FSAZ+, FSW
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Phoenix Coyotes coach Dave Tippett was not pleased with how his team finished its homestand. A game in Los Angeles could help Tippett feel much better about his club.

The Coyotes try to avoid their first three-game losing streak since early November on Thursday night at Staples Center, where the Kings will look to get their offense in gear for this home-and-home set.

After going 6-0-2 to open January, Phoenix (23-15-9) dropped two straight to end a 2-2-0 homestand. A 5-2 loss to Nashville on Tuesday sent the Coyotes from fourth to sixth in the Western Conference.

“We’re making far too many errors and our whole game is out of sync here the last two,” said Tippett, whose team is 3 for 39 on the power play over the last 11 games.

Before trying to avoid a season high-tying third straight home loss Saturday night versus the Kings (24-21-1), Phoenix will look to match a season best with its fourth consecutive road win.

The host in both matchups this season, the Coyotes won 4-2 on Oct. 21 behind Lee Stempniak’s(notes) first career hat trick and scored four first-period goals to snap Los Angeles’ four-game winning streak with a 6-3 victory Dec. 29.

That loss began the Kings’ current 2-9-0 skid. Before heading to Glendale, where it has dropped 20 of 27, Los Angeles will try to get back on track following consecutive 2-1 road losses to Dallas and St. Louis.

Tuesday’s defeat against the Blues dropped the slumping Kings into 12th place in the West.

“We’ve got to start getting results here, regardless of how good we play,” captain Dustin Brown(notes) told the Kings’ official website.

Los Angeles could use better production from Brown, Ryan Smyth(notes) and Justin Williams(notes), who each have a team-high 17 goals but just one between them in the last five contests.

The Kings are 0 for 13 on the power play during that stretch.

With Los Angeles scoring once for the third time in four games Tuesday, Jonathan Quick(notes) delivered one of his better performances in more than two weeks, stopping 24 of 26 shots. Quick, though, let a soft shot by Erik Johnson(notes) slip through his pads with 6:47 left.

“A bad goal at the end of the game cost us,” said Quick, 1-6-0 with a 3.59 goals-against average in his last seven starts.

Coach Terry Murray, though, was pleased with Quick’s effort, and he will likely be in net Thursday. In the Dec. 29 matchup, Quick yielded a career high-tying six goals on 18 shots to fall to 0-3-1 with a 3.95 GAA in his last four starts against Phoenix.

Ilya Bryzgalov(notes) is 11-2-1 with a 2.21 GAA in his last 14 starts versus Los Angeles, but he could be benched in favor of former King Jason LaBarbera(notes) after allowing eight goals in the last two games.

LaBarbera, making his first start in Los Angeles as a visiting player, turned away 22 shots and the Coyotes erased a two-goal third-period deficit to win 3-2 in a shootout in their last game at Staples Center on April 8.

The Kings, who have dropped six of eight at home, are trying to win two in a row in Los Angeles for the first time since Dec. 23-26.

Phoenix last dropped three straight during an 0-1-2 skid Nov. 5-8.

The Kings placed left wing Marco Sturm(notes) on injured reserve Thursday due to tendinitis in his left knee. The veteran scored in the Dec. 29 meeting.

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Thursday, Jan 20