Since we last met the Phoenix Coyotes…
IN: After the departure of Bryzgalov the goalie philosopher clown, the Coyotes turned to ex-Bolt Mike Smith as the answer in net. He's still getting into a groove, but it should help that he has a prior connection with Dave Tippett. Daymond Langkow (aaagh!), Boyd Gordon, and Raffi Torres (bleh!) are additions at forward.
OUT: Lee "Quickie kryptonite" Stempniak, Vernon Fiddler, Eric Belanger, Ilya Bryzgalov
INJURED: Michal Rozsival, Kurt Sauer
SCRATCHED: Patrick O’Sullivan. Who knows WTF Kyle Turris is doing.
Probable Coyotes lineup:
Kings lineup: Kevin Westgarth is in to break Bissonnette's Twitter texting hand (or to get smacked trying), so Trent Hunter finds himself on the out.
Last time out, the Kings finally broke the four-goal barrier: wasn't that fun? Though the score stood at 1-0 well into the second, they were able to pounce on a tired, reeling Blues team in the end. This time out they won't get to play a team on their third game in four nights, though.
Phoenix is averaging more goals than the Kings (3 GF/G), but is also letting in far more (3 GA/G), which is a problem. Shane Doan and former 6th overall pick Oliver Ekman-Larsson are off to hot starts; Mike Smith is iffy, but has a good track record against LA.
Cautionary stat for the night: the last time Doughty was out, the Kings only played two teams who went on to make the playoffs -- Chicago and Phoenix -- and lost both of them. Division games always have a playoff feel. Let's hope for another all-out effort.