When you think Phoenix Coyotes vs. Los Angeles Kings, it’s easy to think about a low scoring affair – especially given the calibre of goaltending on both sides.
Add in some good defensemen for each club and you usually have a recipe for a long night, something Jack Johnson talked about after practice yesterday – saying, “Games against Phoenix are usually, maybe not the most exciting games. It will probably be a trap game, like usual against them. So, it will probably be a low scoring game too. And like usual, it will be a tight checking game.”
Regarding the importance of the match-up, forward Ryan Smyth added…
“Obviously, we want to shut them down and we want to keep climbing in the standings. This could be a team that we play against in the playoffs. So, it’s important that we not only get a win, but make a statement.”
Even though the Kings are coming off an embarrassing loss in San Jose Monday night, he says it’s business as usual – “You put that one behind you. Whether you lose 1-0 or 6-1, it doesn’t matter. A loss is a loss and you carry forth. We know we have three games left and they’re very important.”
So, back to the goal totals…
In five games played this season, the Kings have scored 10 goals (not counting empty netters), compared to the Coyotes’ 14. However, six of the goals for Phoenix came in a 6-3 game on December 29, when the Kings were playing their third game in four nights.
Two of the last three games have been shutouts, with each team winning one on their home ice (LA 1-0 on March 3 and PHX 2-0 on January 20).
Lee Stempniak has six goals in five games vs. the Kings this year.
The team that scores first has won all five games so far this season.
Something else to look for in this game – the interplay between Kevin Westgarth, Kyle Clifford and Paul Bissonnette. If you’re not up to speed on what ‘Biz Nasty’ had to say about the Kings rookies, here’s an overview.
Jeremy Roenick Previews Kings vs. Coyotes – April 6, 2011
Kings-Coyotes Preview with Eric Belanger - talking memories of LA, teeth pulling and more
Tyson Nash Previews Kings vs Coyotes – includes word association and player evaluations