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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, March 17th (All times Eastern)

Phoenix Coyotes (32-25-11) at Los Angeles Kings (38-24-6), 10:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Phoenix Coyotes will attempt to make up some ground in the Pacific Division on Monday night as they visit Los Angeles looking to deal the Kings a third straight defeat.

The Coyotes are seven points back of the Kings for third place in the Pacific Division and with 75 points also are tied with the Dallas Stars for the second wild card spot in the West.

Phoenix is looking to make a run and has won five of its past seven games. That includes a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames on Saturday as the Coyotes recovered after blowing a two-goal lead.

Chris Summers and Rob Klinkhammer scored first-period goals, with Summers notching the first goal of his NHL career, and Shane Doan later snapped a tie with a power-play marker in the third frame.

"We found a way to score a goal in the third," said Doan, who potted his 350th NHL goal. "Our power play has been a strength of our team all year and it came through for us."

Mike Smith made 30 saves and defenseman Keith Yandle finished with two assists.

Phoenix hopes to extend the recent struggles of Los Angeles, which has followed up an eight-game win streak by losing the first two of a five-game homestand.

The Kings had their winning streak end with a 3-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday, then fell in defeat to the Anaheim Ducks 2-1 on Saturday.

Tyler Toffoli scored Los Angeles' only goal -- his first in 10 games -- while Martin Jones stopped 18 shots for the Kings.

Los Angeles appeared to have tied the game late in the third period on a shot from the slot by Anze Kopitar, but it was ruled Marian Gaborik had interfered with the Anaheim goaltender.

"We played against the top team in the conference and you're not going to win scoring one goal," said Los Angeles head coach Darryl Sutter. "I liked that we only gave up two goals, but that's not enough when you play teams like this."

Jonathan Quick dressed as the backup on Saturday despite battling illness, though forward Dustin Brown was unable to play for the same reason.

Quick should be recovered enough to go tonight and is 13-12-3 with a 2.63 goals against average with four shutouts in his career versus the Coyotes.

Smith is 10-4-1 with a 2.11 GAA and two shutouts lifetime when facing the Kings.

Los Angeles won the first of five meetings this season between the division rivals, posting a 7-4 victory at home on Oct. 24. However, Phoenix followed up with consecutive wins of its own at home, including a 3-0 decision in the most recent encounter on Jan. 28.

The Kings have won three straight and seven of their last eight as the host in this series.

03/17 10:42:16 ET

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