IN: Marc-Antoine Pouliot
OUT: Martin Hanzal (Suspension), Adrian Aucoin (Injured), Colin Fraser (Personal Matter)
The Martin Hanzal-less Coyotes come to Staples. Dave Tippett has been pretty tight lipped about his pre-game line construction, but we do know Pouliot is in. What the lines will look like is anybody's guess.
Scoring first is always a huge key against the Coyotes. In fact the Coyotes are 100-14-15 under Tippett when scoring first. That's a Win % of .787. Whoa. The average Win % for the entire NHL when scoring first is 66%. The Kings have been good thus far at staying focused and not falling in love with themselves based on their eye-popping results. That needs to continue tonight.
The Kings 4th line appears to be even more dangerous now that Richardson is centering Clifford and Nolan. As Lars pointed out in the breakdown thread, Sutter loves to put them out there after penalties to put a little bit of a charge into the team. Their ability to drive play could be huge tonight given that the Coyotes bottom 6 is what will suffer the most from Hanzal's suspension. Look for a big game out of them, they could be the difference.