HOW TO WATCH
Game Time: 7:30 PM Pacific
TV: Fox Sports West
Radio: KABC AM 790
Stream: Fox Sports Go (requires cable subscription)
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
if you’re a Kings fan: We’re back from the bye week, which has been bad news for NHL teams so far...
Small sample alert: teams have a 3-7-1 record and minus-13 goal dif in 1st game coming off bye week.— Stephen Laidlaw (@SteveLaidlaw) February 13, 2017
... but it’s an appealing matchup for the Kings, who have won two one-goal games in Arizona this season and now get a shot at home. It’s a welcome return to Staples for LA, who only have to leave the Pacific Time Zone for a single two-game set over the remainder of the 2016-17 season.
if you’re a Coyotes fan: Arizona has ceded any shot they might have had at finishing last in the NHL, especially with wins over both Stanley Cup finalists in February. The good news for them is that they’re still nine points out of the #28 spot, so they should be able to let loose and play hockey without worrying too much about whether their draft position will be hurt with wins. And they’ll never turn down a win over LA.
if you’re a hockey fan: It’s Pride Night at Staples Center, with the LA Galaxy’s Robbie Rogers dropping the puck and some additional guests and features throughout the night. Staples Center hosting one of these is long overdue, and as part of Hockey is for Everyone Month, let’s hope they do it right.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
for the Kings: Adrian Kempe. Couldn’t be anyone else. In last Thursday’s showdown with Florida, Andy Andreoff filled the remaining spot on a line with Kopitar and Toffoli, and they were the only ineffective trio in a 6-3 win. It’s a perfect spot for Kempe to slide into for his NHL debut; at home, against a relatively poor opponent, with two excellent all-around players.
for the Coyotes: Martin Hanzal. He’s picked a wonderful time to find both his health and his goalscoring form, as he’s been floated around in all sorts of trade rumors for the last month or two. Hanzal has four goals in his last three games, and given his career 12-16-28 line against the Kings in 39 games, he’ll be confident in his prospects to continue the streak today.
- Jaromir Jagr hit 1,900 career points yesterday in a 6-5 overtime win against the Sharks. [Litter Box Cats]
- The fired Michel Therrien wrote a letter to fans of the Montreal Canadiens. [Habs Eyes on the Prize]
- Gustav Nyquist received a six-game suspension for essentially spearing Jared Spurgeon in the face. Seems light to me, even for a first-time offender. [Winging it in Motown]
How about a feature on defenseman Paul LaDue?