The LA Kings return to home ice at the Staples Center Saturday night to square off against the league-worst Arizona Coyotes.
Saturday, February 3 will mark 13 days since the LA Kings played on home ice at the Staples Center. The Kings last home game came on January 21 against the New York Rangers, which resulted in a 4-2 victory.
Since, the Kings embarked on a four-game road trip that was intersected by the NHL All-Star Break from January 26-29. On their four-game trip, the Kings squared off against the Canucks, Flames, Stars and Predators. LA had good wins against the Flames and the Stars, however, they lost to the Canucks and Predators by a combined score of 11-2.
Their latest game, against the Predators, served as Jonathan Quick’s return from the injured reserve. As you could tell by the scoreline, Quick was not the typical Jonathan Quick that the fans have known and loved. At the very least though, the game stayed under the total, as we predicted.
The LA Kings, and Jonathan Quick, have a chance to bounce back from that performance against the league-worst Arizona Coyotes. Arizona is riding a two-game losing streak in which they were outscored 6-2 by the Blue Jackets and the Stars. The Coyote’s -57 goal differential is the worst in the league to go along with their league-worst 33 points.
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However, the LA Kings cannot let their guard down and underestimate the Coyotes. In the two team’s only contest this season the Coyotes emerged victorious 3-2 in overtime; granted, in Arizona. Last season, the Coyotes took the season series three games to two.
It is important that the Kings get hot early and find the back of the net. Anze Kopitar must do Anze Kopitar-like things and guide the Kings to a fast start. With an early lead, the offense gets confidence that may be lacking after a shutout in Nashville and Quick gets the comfort of a lead. From there, the LA Kings can coast to a should-be easy victory.
That would be the perfect way for the Kings to get hot to make a postseason push. Right now, LA trails the Ducks by one point for the third spot in the Pacific Division and trails the Wild by two points for the Wild Card.
Los Angeles then hosts the Oilers, who they defeated 5-0 in their only contest. Then, it is back on the road for four games to take on the Panthers, Lightning, Hurricanes and Penguins. If Los Angeles can win three of those games during that tough slate, it may be enough to gain momentum for a playoff push.