The Los Angeles Kings burst out of the All Star break with a 3-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes. The Kings have now won 3 games in a row, and with this victory move past the St. Louis Blues for the second wildcard spot in the Western Conference.
Scratches for the Kings were Tom Gilbert and Devin Setoguchi. Scratches for the Coyotes were Kevin Connauton and Peter Holland.
The Coyotes struck first, when Jordan Martinook put the puck past Peter Budaj on a deflection at 8:48 into the 1st period stemming from a Connor Murphy shot. Lawson Crouse got the other assist.
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The Kings responded just over two minutes later, though, when Anze Kopitar beat Mike Smith at 10:51 to tie the game. Drew Doughty fired the puck on net, and Kopitar cleaned it up. Marian Gaborik got the other assist when he wasn’t able to capitalize on the rebound before Kopitar could.
Andy Andreoff got called for tripping Luke Schenn at 18:37. The Arizona power play continued into the 2nd period, but the Kings killed it off after allowing just 1 shot on Budaj.
Soon after that penalty ended, Martinook was sent to the box at 1:24 into the 2nd period for hooking Derek Forbort.
On the ensuing power play, the Kings got 6 shots on goal against Smith, but the Arizona netminder stood tall against the barrage.
In the final 5 minutes of the period, Smith robbed Jake Muzzin with a phenomenal glove save on a blistering slap shot.
The game remained tied until late in the period. At 18:30, Ryan White put the Coyotes ahead with a goal off a rebound. Crouse got the assist.
Much like before, the Kings answered within seconds. Jordan Nolan flew down the ice and trickled a backhander past Smith in front of the net at 18:55.Forbort and Kopitar got the assists.
The game would ultimately be decided in the crucial 3rd period. At 11:55 into the 3rd, Martinook was yet again sent to the box, but this time for slashing Dustin Brown. The Kings got 1 shot on goal during the power play, but couldn’t score.
At 16:21, Martin Hanzal was penalized for tripping Kopitar. The Kings took advantage of the opportunity, as Muzzin put in what would end up being the game winning goal on the power play at 18:11 right in front of the net on a great pass from Jeff Carter. Kopitar got the other assist.
Smith was pulled for an extra attacker with about a minute and a half remaining in the game, and the Coyotes generated some great scoring chances afterwards, but the Kings managed to hold on to the victory.
The Kings outshot the Coyotes 39-32. Los Angeles went 1 of 3 on their power play opportunities, while Arizona went 0 of 1 on their man advantage.