Kings at Coyotes
The Los Angeles Kings will try to increase their lead for third place in the Pacific Division to three points over Anaheim and move into a virtual tie with San Jose for second when they visit the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday. Los Angeles blanked Vancouver 3-0 on Monday behind 35 saves from Jonathan Quick to move one point ahead of the Ducks with one game in hand, and hopes to cash it in by making it two straight wins over improving Arizona.
The Kings have won four straight on the road, including their last two over Western Conference heavyweights Vegas 4-1 and Winnipeg 4-3, and play five of their next seven games away from home. Arizona, which is coming off a 1-0 victory over Vancouver on Sunday, remains last in the NHL with 55 points despite going 10-3-2 in its last 15 games. The Coyotes will be without first-year coach Rick Tocchet, who left the team Monday to deal with a family illness, as Arizona general manager John Chayka told reporters: "Family comes first. Our thoughts and prayers are with Toc as he deals with this personal matter. It's important that he takes the time to be there with his family." The clubs split their first two meetings of the season with Los Angeles' 6-0 victory Feb. 3 snapping the Coyotes' four-game winning streak in the series as Darcy Kuemper, who was traded to Arizona on Feb. 21, made 27 saves for his third shutout of the season.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, FS West (Los Angeles), FS Arizona Plus
ABOUT THE KINGS (38-26-5): Hart Trophy contender Anze Kopitar, who is also under Selke consideration, scored his team-leading 28th goal Monday and leads the club with 75 points - five in his last four games. Tyler Toffoli scored his 22nd goal Monday and added an assist for his first points in four contests. Norris Trophy candidate Drew Doughty bounced back from a minus-4 performance in a 7-2 loss to St. Louis on Saturday with an assist and a plus-2 rating Monday, giving him 46 points - tied for second on the team with Dustin Brown.
ABOUT THE COYOTES (22-35-11): Kuemper also made 27 saves Sunday, earning his fourth shutout of the campaign and first with Arizona, and could be back in goal Tuesday as No. 1 Antti Raanta continues to deal with a nagging lower-body injury. "It's nice to get these consecutive starts and just kind of get in a rhythm," Kuemper, who stopped 26 shots in Saturday's 5-2 loss at Colorado, told reporters. "Every start, I feel more and more comfortable with the team and how we play." Clayton Keller assisted on defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson's goal Sunday, increasing his team-best point total to 49 - fourth among NHL rookies - and giving him five in six March games.
1. Ekman-Larsson (10 goals, 35 points) is an NHL-worst minus-35 but a plus-3 in March while recording two goals and three assists.
2. Los Angeles D Jake Muzzin recorded an assist Monday and is one shy of equaling his career high of 32 set in 2015-16.
3. Arizona has allowed the seventh-most goals in the league but yielded more than three only three times in its last 15 games.