Mon, Dec 26, 2011 - 10:00 PM ET
Game Recap

Kings 4, Coyotes 3

Share This Story



Rob Scuderi hadn't scored a goal all year long for the Kings, while Willie Mitchell and Brad Richardson were only one goal ahead of him on Los Angeles' sparse season scoresheet.

The Kings needed every improbable contribution they could get to end one of the worst scoring droughts in franchise history.

Mitchell scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period, and the Kings beat the Phoenix Coyotes 4-3 Monday night with their highest-scoring performance in over a month.

Scuderi, Brad Richardson and captain Dustin Brown also scored for the Kings in their second victory under new coach Darryl Sutter. Los Angeles scored at least three goals for the first time in 15 games since Nov. 22, ending the 44-year-old club's longest stretch of such low-scoring hockey.

So what if Phoenix goalie Jason LaBarbera probably should have stopped both third-period goals from Mitchell and Brown? The Kings will take their newfound potency on the road with them - even if they end up traveling without high-scoring forward Simon Gagne, who incurred an unspecified injury during the game.

''I'm sure he'd like to have a couple of those plays back,'' said Scuderi, who hadn't scored since Feb. 5. ''But it's an attitude we're trying to get here. We're trying to turn the page. It's unfortunate that it cost someone their job, but we're just trying to get things together.''

Jonathan Quick stopped 26 shots for Los Angeles, which climbed into a three-way tie with Phoenix and Colorado for ninth place in the Western Conference. Only the New York Islanders have scored fewer goals this season than the Kings, who have won four of six following a five-game skid that cost coach Terry Murray his job.

Mitchell drove the net and put the Kings ahead shortly after the third period began with a shot that banked off LaBarbera's chest. Brown then chased LaBarbera with a change-of-pace shot that somehow went right through the goalie for Brown's 150th career goal.

''I think everybody's confidence is improving,'' said Anze Kopitar, who had two assists. ''We know we can play a puck-possession type of game. We did a good job this time.''

Yet even this steady victory might carry a steep cost: Gagne sat out the third period after getting ''banged up'' earlier in the game, according to Sutter. The seven-time 20-goal scorer has a history of concussions and other injuries.

Raffi Torres scored two goals on exceptional plays by the Coyotes, and Daymond Langkow added a third-period goal in Phoenix's sixth loss in nine games.

LaBarbera, the former Kings goalie, made 25 saves before getting pulled from his third straight start in place of injured Mike Smith. Phoenix also played without center Martin Hanzal, who has a lower-body injury.

''With the injuries we have in our lineup, we wanted to make sure we competed hard and give ourselves the best chance of winning,'' Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. ''We were hanging around the whole game, right until the end. I think there were a couple of goals in the third that Barb would like to have back. Those were tough to overcome. I know (Brown's goal) went up short side on him, and you don't like to see a goal scored on the short side.''

The Coyotes returned from the holiday without Smith, who strained his groin on a non-contact play at Florida last week. Phoenix put Smith on its injured list Monday and recalled former Ducks goalie Curtis McElhinney, who replaced LaBarbera with 13:54 to play.

''When you're chasing them in the game the whole time, it makes it even more difficult,'' Coyotes captain Shane Doan said. ''They scored early, and it was one of those games where we were chasing them for the rest of the night. In the second period, I thought we had control of the game, but we let it get away from us. We tried to get it back in the third, but it was too late.''

Torres evened it after Scuderi's slap shot put the Kings ahead less than 5 minutes in. Richardson then tipped home Slava Voynov's shot in front of LaBarbera late in the first period, getting just his second goal in 27 games this season.

Torres scored the second period's only goal on an exceptional blue line-to-blue line pass by Patrick O'Sullivan, who was recalled from Phoenix's AHL affiliate in Portland earlier Monday.

''I didn't really expect much, but Sully just put it right on my tape in mid-stride and I was able to finish,'' said Torres, who had his first multigoal game since leaving Vancouver to sign with Phoenix in the offseason.

Langkow kept it close with a fast-break goal just 33 seconds after Brown's score, converting a rebound of Mikkel Boedker's shot.

NOTES: F Mike Richards briefly went to the Kings' locker room in the second period after getting hit in the ear by a shot from Drew Doughty. ... Doughty had an assist in his fourth straight game, matching his career high. Los Angeles' $56 million defenseman has just 14 points in 31 games this season.

Tagged: Kings, Flyers, Lightning, Canucks, Coyotes, Willie Mitchell, Raffi Torres, Mike Richards, Rob Scuderi, Jason LaBarbera, Dustin Brown, Mike Smith, Brad Richardson

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

Play Hockey Simulation Game on WhatIfSports

NHL Videos

Toews, Kane: Easy decision to resign with Blackhawks Posted: Jul 17, 2014
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane say their decision to sign matching 8-year, $84M...

LA mayor 'F-bombs' Kings rally Posted: Jun 17, 2014
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti toasts the Stanley Cup champion Kings in front o...

Kings, fans celebrate Stanley Cup Posted: Jun 16, 2014
Kings players celebrate winning the Stanley Cup with a parade through downtown L...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Pittsburgh_Penguins/browse/featuredproduct/175178/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_175000/FF_175178_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black
    Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Dallas_Stars/browse/featuredproduct/243363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_243000/FF_243363_xl.jpg&w=100 124.95 Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey
    Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Tampa_Bay_Lightning/browse/featuredproduct/301017/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_301000/ff_301017_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Anaheim_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/398322/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_398000/FF_398322_xl.jpg&w=100 43.99 Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Red_Wings/browse/featuredproduct/403205/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_403000/FF_403205_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack
    Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Chicago_Blackhawks/browse/featuredproduct/408123/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_408000/FF_408123_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey
    Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_Jersey_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/456774/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_456000/ff_456774_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Vancouver_Canucks/browse/featuredproduct/665779/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_665000/ff_665779_xl.jpg&w=100 11.95 Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick
    Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Islanders/browse/featuredproduct/752594/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_752000/ff_752594_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt