The Los Angeles Kings are poised to catch the Arizona Coyotes in a trap Saturday, five days after they were upended in the desert.
Although the Kings struggle on the road, evidenced by Monday’s 3-0 defeat at Arizona, they’ve won five consecutive home games. Now the Coyotes prepare to visit the Kings at Staples Center.
The Kings’ latest home victory was 5-1 against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday. L.A. scored three first-period goals, including the first one 92 seconds into the game by Tyler Toffoli.
The Kings have won all their home games this month and need four more victories to make it a perfect November in L.A. They’ve defeated the Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, Detroit Red Wings, Vegas Golden Knights and the Oilers at home to lessen the blow of four road losses this month.
Forward Jeff Carter had a goal and two assists on Thursday, when he was honored for playing his 1,000th career game. Toffoli had two goals and an assist, and Drew Doughty had three assists.
“It was what it needed to be: A true team win,” head coach Todd McLellan said after Thursday’s game. “We can see progress. … We’re pleased with some of the structure we used. But there is little time to enjoy it. Bank it and keep moving on. We’ve got to get better.”
Arizona will enter off a 3-1 defeat Thursday against the Toronto Maple Leafs, who played with the emotional surge of a coaching change. Toronto, which had allowed the first goal in its previous seven games, played with high energy for new head coach Sheldon Keefe.
The Coyotes, however, have made a November surge of their own with four victories in a stretch of five games before falling to Toronto. Their two most recent victories have been by shutout.
Arizona avoided getting shut out against Toronto when Vinnie Hinostraza scored with 17 seconds remaining. The Coyotes were 12-6-1 in their previous 19 games.
“I do like this group because they’ve bounced back from some bad games, so I am comfortable that they’ll bounce back, which is good,” Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet said. “We’re going to need the leadership group [Saturday] to get guys ready, the coaching staff. I’m comfortable with these guys bouncing back, for sure.”
Nick Schmaltz leads the Coyotes with 18 points, getting two assists in Monday’s victory over the Kings. Conor Garland, who has a team-leading 10 goals, scored against the Kings on Monday.
–Field Level Media