Offense Sputters As Kings Blank Coyotes In Hollywood

Coyotes drop fifth straight game with division loss to Kings.

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Offense Disappears As Kings Blank Reeling Coyotes, 1-0

It's amazing how things can change in just 10 days. Just over a week ago, the Coyotes were NHL darlings, and now find themselves in survival mode, as a playoff spot begins to turn into a question mark.

Phoenix's latest debacle came in the form of a 1-0 loss to the division rival Los Angeles Kings. The same LA Kings that were trailing the Coyotes by just two points and had just made an impact move to acquire Dustin Penner.

While the defense came to play on Thursday, there was no offense for the Coyotes to speak of. The Yotes' blueliners held the Kings' offense to just 18 shots, but didn't get any support from their offense.

The Yotes forwards mustered up 24 shots against LA backup Jonathan Bernier, but couldn't get anything by the 22-year-old netminder.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the one goal in the game came on the power play. With the newly acquired Rostislav Klesla in the penalty box for high-sticking, Jarret Stoll's slapper past Ilya Bryzgalov would prove to be the game-winner.

It's certainly not the first time the Coyotes have been let down by their power play recently. They gave up three powerplay goals in Tampa Bay, three in Columbus, two in Chicago, and one against Dallas, which lost the game for Phoenix with five seconds left.

With only two penalties to kill all night, it must be disappointing for the Coyotes to lose it late while a man down. However, they need to put it behind them if they want to remain in contention.

The loss evens the Coyotes at 76 points with both the Kings and the Blackhawks, but tiebreakers put them in sixth place in the West. With ninth place Dallas and 10th place Minnesota just two points behind, the Coyotes need to find a way to win, and soon.

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Coyotes Need A Win In Crucial Test Vs. Los Angeles Kings

The Phoenix Coyotes will look for their first win in their last five games, having dropped four in a row. Their most recent loss was a 3-2 heartbreaker against the the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, in which Dallas scored in the final five seconds.

Thursday night's tilt pits the Yotes against their division rival, the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings last played on on Monday, when they allowed seven goals to the Detroit Red Wings. Former Edmonton Oiler Dustin Penner is expected to make his Kings debut for LA.

The key for Phoenix will be their penalty kill. It's been a major source of letdown recently, allowing nine goals during this four-game skid.

Ilya Bryzgalov will be between the pipes on Thursday, as usual. The Russian goaltender is 3-1 against LA this season, but has given up 11 goals in his last three starts.

After losing on Tuesday and not playing on Wednesday, they Coyotes find themselves in fifth place in the Western Conference, despite being even in points with the Chicago Blackhawks. Chicago holds the tiebreaker over Phoenix, though, but the Yotes can sneak back into fourth with a win, since the Hawks are idle on Thursday.

Puck drops at 8:30, Phoenix time, and you can follow along with our crew over at Five for Howling for all your Coyotes in-game updates.

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