The Arizona Coyotes will be trying for their longest points streak in 11 years when they visit the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.
The Coyotes are 4-0-3 in their past seven games to match their longest run since Dec. 31, 2015, to Jan. 14, 2016, when they went 5-0-2.
Arizona last had a point streak of at least eight games when it went 11-0-1 from Feb. 4-28, 2012.
The Coyotes are coming off a 1-0 shootout win against the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday.
Connor Ingram made 47 saves in his first NHL shutout, but it will be Karel Vejmelka who starts in goal against the Kings, Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny said on Friday.
Vejmelka has had some success against the Kings in his two-year NHL career.
He stopped 26 of 27 shots in a 2-1 shootout win in Tempe, Ariz., on Dec. 23, three weeks after surrendering four goals on 31 shots in a 5-3 defeat in Los Angeles.
Vejmelka also stopped 37 of 38 shots in a 2-1 win against the Kings on Nov. 21, 2021, for his first NHL win in his 11th start.
One area they Coyotes have excelled in lately has been the penalty kill. They have killed 27 off their opponents’ past 28 power plays.
Tourigny said it takes a combination of factors to be tight on the penalty kill and overall on defense.
“People say it’s not difficult to play defensively. Yeah, it’s not difficult as long as you work at it for years,” he said. “It’s not complicated, but it’s a lot of work. It’s chemistry. It’s getting better every day.”
Shayne Gostisbehere is close to returning for Arizona, but it won’t happen in Los Angeles. The defenseman, who has not played since Jan. 24 because of an upper-body injury, might return to face the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday.
The Kings improved to 6-1-1 in their past eight games with a 6-3 road win over the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night.
Los Angeles’ Adrian Kempe scored to give him eight goals in his past four games, and Kevin Fiala had a goal and two assists for his 17th multi-point game of the season.
The Kings also went 3-for-4 on the power play against the Ducks, improving to 26.2 percent on the season.
“It’s competitive and I think we have competitive players on both units,” Los Angeles forward Viktor Arvidsson said of the power play. “It’s a good thing and everybody’s scoring.”
The Kings are expected to start Jonathan Quick in goal for the first time since Jan. 28 and only the third time in 2023.
Pheonix Copley started on Friday night against the Ducks and stopped 16 of 17 shots before he was given a match penalty late in the second period for hitting an opponent with his blocker during a scrum in front of the net.
Quick replaced Copley and stopped eight of 10 shots to earn the win.
It will be Quick’s 50th NHL appearance against the Coyotes. He is 23-20-6 with a 2.47 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage vs. Arizona. Quick has six shutouts against the Coyotes, his highest total against any opponent.
He went up against Vejmelka in both games in December and stopped 41 of 45 shots overall.
–Field Level Media