Kings Roster Notes: (IN) Jonathan Bernier (2.70 GAA, .904 SV%) gets the start over Quick. He has a .939 SV% in his last 6 starts. In case you've been out of the country and cut off from all human contact, Dustin Penner is on the top line with Kopitar and Simmonds. (OUT) Westgarth, Harrold, and Drewiske are healthy scratches. Injured: Scott Parse (hip).
Coyotes Roster Notes: (IN) Ilya Bryzgalov, David Schlemko, Mikkel Boedker, Kyle Turris; (via trade) Rostislav Klesla (OUT) Via trade: Scottie Upshall, Sami Lepisto. Injured: Ed Jovanovski.
Phoenix is currently on a 0-4-1 losing streak; meanwhile, the Kings have turned their fortunes around since their last victory over them on Jan. 22. Both clubs are looking to bounce back from disappointing losses tonight, however, and any Pacific matchup is going to be intense. I'm a bit worried the Kings will come out all full of adrenaline and try to do too much at first, when really they need to settle down, let the lines gel, slow down the pace, and calmly set out to kick the crap out of them.
While the Kings have a slightly better scoring rate 5v5, Dave Tippett's team always has a plan. The Coyotes' special teams have struggled of late (16.7% on the power play, 78.3% on the penalty kill), so it will be important for the Kings to take any advantage they can get.
Season series: Coyotes up, 2-1. Bernier's in goal, so please score goals for him again, Kings. It's a great habit. Score so many goals you can overcome phantom calls and bogus goals and still win. A victory tonight would vault them above the Coyotes in the standings with games in hand. So stay focused.