Kings Narrowly Escape Collapse, Beat Coyotes 6-5
The Los Angeles Kings decided they didn’t want to do things the easy way against the Arizona Coyotes Saturday.
The Los Angeles Kings decided they didn't want to do things the easy way against the Arizona Coyotes Saturday.
After finishing period one up 5-1, they let the Coyotes all the way back into the game, with Arizona scoring four unanswered goals after the first.
The Kings came out of the gate sloppy. Misplacing passes and giving up possession without much pressure.
Then, 6:58 into the period Rasmus Kupari drew a trip. Kevin Fiala scored a fortunate goal with a Coyotes defensemen's clearing attempt going off Fiala and in, a goal that blew the game wide open.
Just over a minute later, the Coyotes scored off a fortunate bounce of their own, as a point shot went of Alex Iafallo straight to Josh Brown who finished in an empty net.
The tie held for just 50 second though. After winning a board battle, Quinton Byfield spun and chipped a pass to center ice that sent Anze Kopitar onto a breakaway. Kopitar scored with a nifty forehand-backhand move, slipping the puck five-hole on Karel Vejmelka.
Two minutes later, the Kings extended their lead to two goals. After Fiala won a board battle, he fed the puck to Iafallo who put the puck on net. Blake Lizotte scooped up the rebound and chipped the puck past Vejmelka for his ninth tally of the season.
The Kings continued to pour it on three minutes later. After two big hits from Rasmus Kupari and Brendan Lemieux, Liam O'Brien took a retaliatory cross-checking penalty on Lemieux. On the delayed penalty Matt Roy crept back door and deposited an Anze Kopitar feed to extend the lead to three.
One minute later, Fiala got his second of the night. After coming off the bench, Fiala recieved the puck just inside the offensive blue line and beat three Coyotes defensemen to the net, finishing with a nice move in tight on Vejmelka. This goal ended Vejmelka's night after five goals on 14 shots and saw Connor Ingram come in as relief.
The period cooled down after that and the Kings went into the break up 5-1.
The second period wasn't nearly as explosive.
The Kings seemed content with holding onto their big lead and seeing out the game. They took their foot off the gas and played a simple, structured game.
The Kings got themselves in some trouble late though.
After Mikey Anderson took a hooking penalty, Viktor Arvidsson tripped Nick Schmaltz during the delayed penalty, giving the Coyotes a two-minute five-on-three.
Just under a minute into the power play Clayton Keller fired a wrist-shot over Quick to cut the lead to three.
The Kings killed off the remaining penalty and went into the second intermission up 5-2.
The Coyotes started the scoring quick in the second. Ingram made a nice save on an Arvidsson one-timer, which eventually sprung Keller on a two-on-one. Keller stayed patient and slid the puck past Quick to cut the lead to two.
The Coyotes then got a big chance on the power play after Tobias Bjornfot took an interference penalty.
Just as time expired on the penalty, Travis Boyd finished a backdoor feed into an empty net.
The Coyotes then stunned the Kings with another goal less than one minute later. Christian Fischer picked up a rebound in front and jammed it home to tie the game at five.
The Kings were given a massive chance late, going on a power play with three minutes left. The Kings were unable to convert though and the game would need extra hockey.
The Kings were once again given a golden opportunity with a man advantage, but couldn't convert on the four-on-three. The game would go the distance and require a shootout.
The Kings made it look easy in the shootout though. Both Vilardi and Adrian Kempe scored for the Kings, with Quick stopping both Coyotes shooters to secure the win.
The Kings play next in Minnesota, kicking off a five game road trip.