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12-10-2009, 02:46 PM
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Phoenix Coyotes @ Los Angeles Kings - 12/10/09


Los Angeles Kings
(19-10-3, 41 pts)


Phoenix Coyotes
(18-11-1, 37 pts)

7:30PM (PST) @ Staples Center Los Angeles, CA

TV Broadcast: FS-W (Home), FS-A (Away)
Radio Broadcast: KTLK 1150 AM, XM 205
Online Video Stream: ATDHE

Season series -- The teams are meeting for the fourth time this season. The road team has won the first three games: Phoenix beat the Kings 6-3 at the Staples Center on opening night, while the Kings won 5-3 decisions at on Oct. 24 and Nov. 2. The teams play again in Glendale, Ariz., on Boxing Day (Dec. 26) and then don't see each other until April 8.

Last 10 -- Phoenix 7-2-1; Los Angeles 6-3-1

Big Story -- Two of the NHL's hottest teams are meeting at the Staples Center. The Coyotes have won five in a row, while the Kings are 5-0-1 in their last six games, including a 5-4 overtime victory at San Jose on Wednesday. The Coyotes' last game was a 2-0 home victory over Minnesota on Monday night.

Team Scope

Coyotes -- Hockey is fun again in the desert, where the Coyotes are on a surprising roll.

Its fun to win, coach Dave Tippett told a larger-than-usual media contingent on Wednesday. But I like the process of building a group and seeing the success not just of individuals but of a group coming together. Its very satisfying. So is that fun? Yeah, its fun. Im having fun. So far, were having fun.

But Tippett has no illusions about how hard it's going to be to stay hot with games against the Kings and Sharks -- the two teams above them in the Pacific Division standings -- in the next three days.

L.A. and San Jose are both very good hockey teams, Tippett said. Very good hockey teams. So that creates challenges. But with our group, we feel like we can overcome those challenges if we do things right.

Kings -- The Kings are off to their best start in 10 years and continued their surge by winning 5-4 in OT at San Jose 5-4 on Wednesday night. Dustin Brown ended a 14-game goal drought by scoring the game-winner in overtime. Top scorer Anze Kopitar also broke out of a long slump with his first goal in 14 games, and Teddy Purcell got his first in 27 games.

Who's Hot -- Ilya Bryzgalov has been the biggest reason for the Coyotes' success. He's been in goal for all five games during the winning streak and has allowed just seven goals. Taylor Pyatt has goals in the Coyotes' last three games. The Kings are getting good production from their young defensemen: Drew Doughty is 2-2-4 in his last five games and Jack Johnson is 1-4-5 in that span.

Stat pack -- Phoenix has scored all 15 goals during its winning streak at even strength. The Coyotes are 0-for-18 on the power play during the five games -- but have killed 19 of 21 opposition power plays. Los Angeles is 7-1-1 against the Pacific Division, with the opening-night loss to the Coyotes the only time the Kings have been beaten in regulation.

Puck drop -- There hasn't been a lot of winning in Phoenix in recent years, and Tippett knows that for his team to continue to succeed, his players can't sit back and enjoy what they've accomplished so far.

"You recognize what you're doing when you're having success," he said Wednesday, "but every day is a new day and you're only as good as your last game."

Brandon Segal - Lower body (Out until at least mid-December)
Andrei Loktionov - Shoulder (IR. Out until at least mid-December)
Ryan Smyth - Upper body (IR. Out until at least mid-December)

Kurt Sauer - Upper body (IR. Out until at least early December)
Ed Jovanovski - Suspension (Two-game suspension. Eligible to return Dec. 14 at Detroit)

11/02/09 - Kings @ Coyotes 5-3 (Kings)
10/24/09 - Kings @ Coyotes 5-3 (Kings)
10/03/09 - Coyotes @ Kings 6-3(Coyotes)

*Kings All Time Record against vs the Coyotes: 68-85-25-4

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