Neither team, however, has been able to make much of a move in the standings lately.
The Coyotes and Kings each look to bounce back from losses and try to move closer to securing home-ice advantage for a potential first-round playoff series when they meet Wednesday night at Staples Center.
Phoenix (42-25-12) and Los Angeles (45-28-6) are both at 96 points, and the winner of this game will clinch a playoff spot.
The Coyotes currently own the tiebreaker because they have one more non-shootout victory than the Kings, but the winner of this game will be alone in fourth place in the West with just two games to play.
Phoenix outscored Los Angeles 12-5 in winning this season’s first three meetings but has lost the last two in regulation.
The teams haven’t played since March 3, when the Kings won 1-0 on Jarret Stoll’s(notes) power-play goal with 7:47 remaining. That sent Phoenix to a fifth straight loss, but the Coyotes have rallied to go 9-2-2 since.
Two of those losses, however, have come in the last three games.
Phoenix, essentially knocked out of the Pacific Division race with a 4-1 loss to San Jose on March 26, hasn’t played since falling to lowly Colorado 4-3 in a shootout on Friday.
Shane Doan(notes) had a power-play goal and an assist as the Coyotes rallied from a two-goal deficit to take a 3-2 lead with 7:37 left in the third period. Avalanche center Ryan O’Reilly(notes) tied the score with 4:31 remaining on Colorado’s lone shot of the period.
Phoenix outshot the Avalanche 16-1 in the third and 29-7 after the first intermission.
“We weren’t good enough in the first period but we got better,” Doan said. “We should have won that one and we should have won that one in regulation.”
The Coyotes, who defeated Dallas in a shootout last Tuesday, don’t have a regulation win in their last three games, which could be costly in tiebreaker scenarios.
The Kings also have lost two of their past three games, including a 6-1 defeat to the Sharks on Monday.
“It’s a good lesson late in the year that you are never as good as you think you are,” defenseman Matt Greene(notes) said. “Especially if you’re going to give a good team the opportunity to beat you like we did. We weren’t up to par or anywhere close to where we need to be to get into the postseason.”
Jonathan Quick(notes) was knocked out early in the second period after allowing four goals on 16 shots. It could be tough for Quick to bounce back, considering he’s 1-3-0 with a 4.05 goals-against average against the Coyotes this season.