NHL NEWS ARCHIVE
Coyotes defeat rusty Kings
LOS ANGELES -- The Arizona Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings were well aware of the trend that has developed among NHL teams coming off their league-mandated week off from practice and play.
The Coyotes wanted to take advantage of any rust that developed on the Kings while the Los Angeles players were away from the rink, and Los Angeles wanted to avoid a listless effort in its return to competition.
Arizona accomplished its goal Thursday night and the Kings did not, resulting in a 5-3 win by the Coyotes at Staples Center that dropped NHL teams to 3-9-1 coming off the break.
"We wanted to make sure we started quick," Arizona coach Dave Tippett said. "We already had our bye. We know what it feels like coming out of it."
The Coyotes scored on two of their first three shots on goal and were leading 2-0 just over five minutes into the game.
"We didn't want to come out flat-footed, but they got that first power-play goal and then another one," Kings forward Tanner Pearson said.
The score remained 2-0 through the second period and well into the third. Arizona goaltender Mike Smith was 12 1/2 minutes from breaking the franchise record for shutouts when both teams combined for six goals the rest of the way.
Brendan Perlini and Jordan Martinook scored two goals apiece for the Coyotes, who got 41 saves from Smith.
Kings right winger Dustin Brown cut the Coyotes' lead to 3-2 when he put back a rebound as he fell to the ice at the 11:07 mark of the third period. Pearson scored off a rebound 2:29 earlier to prevent the Kings from getting shut out for the third time in the last four games, but Perlini answered 1:17 later when he scored his second of the game and 10th of the season.
The Kings went on the power play for the first time with 6:34 remaining, but it was the Coyotes who scored short-handed. Martinook took advantage of a bad change by the Kings and beat goaltender Peter Budaj (17 saves) with a wrist shot from the right circle.
Martinook sealed the victory with an empty-net goal, which also brought him to double digits in goals on the season. Pearson scored his second of the game in the final seconds to set the final margin.
"We went into the third and we wanted to make sure we got our fair share offensive-zone time," Tippett said. "It was up and down, but I was glad we got a couple big goals there."
The Kings, who had not played since beating the Florida Panthers 6-3 on Feb. 9, got off to a bad start when leading scorer Jeff Carter went to the penalty box at 3:33 after hooking Martin Hanzal. The Coyotes scored on their first shot with the extra man.
Radim Vrbata's centering pass skipped over the blade of Los Angeles defenseman Drew Doughty, and Perlini took advantage. His first swipe at the puck missed, but his second shot beat Budaj for a 1-0 lead and ended a streak of 26 consecutive penalty kills by the Kings.
Arizona made it 2-0 only 16 seconds later. Right winger Tobias Rieder skated around Kings defenseman Brayden McNabb and came from behind the goal line, shooting the puck at Budaj from in close at a side angle. The puck clanked off the crossbar and into the side of the net, briefly triggering the red light behind the goal, but the referee waved it off.
The puck stayed in front the crease as Budaj was on his backside, and Josh Jooris shot it into the net. The referees reviewed the play and confirmed Rieder's goal was good.
"When we lose, you're going to ask how the goalie played," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. "Peter would have like to have three of the four goals back."
Adrian Kempe made his NHL debut for the Kings and had the team's best scoring chance of the opening period, getting loose on a breakaway with just over four minutes left, but his backhand went wide. He was the only Los Angeles player with more than one shot on goal in the opening period.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson assisted on Perlini's goal, giving him a season-high five-game point streak. Vrbata's assist on the same goal gave him a four-game point streak.
NOTES: LW Adrian Kempe, the Kings' first-round draft pick in 2014, had 11 goals and eight assists in 43 games with Ontario (Calif.) of the AHL this season. ... Arizona LW Jamie McGinn, who has eight goals and 14 points in 50 games, was a healthy scratch for the first time this season. C Peter Holland drew into the lineup for the second time since Jan. 23. ... Coyotes D Jakob Chychrun was a healthy scratch for a fourth straight game. ... The Coyotes recalled G Marek Langhamer from AHL Tucson after backup Louis Domingue sustained a lower-body injury during the morning skate. Langhamer, who backed up starter Mike Smith, has no NHL experience. ... Coyotes LW Lawson Crouse missed his third consecutive game with a lower-body injury. ... Kings LW Andy Andreoff and D Kevin Gravel were healthy scratches.