The Desert Dogs got fairly thoroughly beaten by the Kings as they continued to struggle to score any goals...and by struggle, I mean they didn't score any goals.
Scoring goals in hockey is good; not scoring goals, a bit problematic. The Phoenix Coyotes need to address their seeming inability to score a goal quickly if they want to salvage this season. The Coyotes were shutout for the third consecutive game, and fourth consecutive road game by Jonathan Quick and the Los Angeles Kings. Although the defense wasn't quite as bad as a 4-0 score might suggest, it was a pretty easy win for the Kings.
[Complete Coverage] - [Los Angeles Reaction]
[Event Summary] - [Play-by-Play] - [TOI Report] - [Faceoff Report]
The Kings got a goal and assist each from Anze Kopitar, Tyler Toffoli, and Jeff Carter. For Toffoli, it was his first (of what will be many) NHL goal. The Coyotes had plenty of chances, but they are churning out saw dust squeezing the sticks so hard and can't buy a goal right now.
I've really got nothing productive to say at this point - just frustrating all around.
- The Coyotes shutout streaks stand as thus: Overall 194:05; on the road 240:23
- The first two Kings goals were on the power play and while obviously just one was enough, the real killer was Kopitar's even strength tally coming just after a Coyotes man advantage failed to score despite several glorious opportunities.
- Mike Smith was pulled after Jeff Carter scored the 4th Kings goal and Jason LaBarbera was strong in relief - no telling who gets the start in net tomorrow...for either team really.
- The Coyotes became the first team since the 1967-68 Oakland Seals to be shutout in 4 consecutive road games...ouch.
Five For Winning
1. Score... Not just first, heck, I don't really care if you do score first (although that would be a plus). After 2 consecutive shutouts, it's time to start putting the puck in the net. Nope.
2. Discipline. After the first 35 minutes of dominance against LA, it was a power play goal and additional man advantage opportunities that allowed the Kings to force the issue a bit. Stay out of the box and keep the special teams play to a minimum...Nope.
3. Roll Your Lines. The Kings can beat you with their top 6, but they also can get big production from their role players as they did the other night with Kyle Clifford leading the charge. The Coyotes are similarly blessed and keeping guys like Rob Klinkhammer and Kyle Chipchura involved in the game is essential. They actually rolled lines ok, although Klink was in the press box. Paul Bissonnette had a few good opportunities of all people and Raffi Torres was a wrecking ball on the ice (mostly in a good way).
4. Crash the Net. Without having the exhausted Kings on the ice, goals will likely be of the uglier variety, so it will be essential to go the dirty areas to score them. This means guys like Martin Hanzal and Raffi Torresneed to set up shot in front of Jonathan Quick. Actually, they did this ok as well, but Quick was able to corral what he needed to and guys like Lauri Korpikoski just couldn't bury chances when they got them.
5. Transition Game. Los Angeles isn't the quickest team, but they have had success frustrating the Coyotes in the past with odd man rushes and breaks. The Coyotes need to be aware of the situations and make sure they have defensive support throughout the game. Kopitar and Carter both scored on the rush - so, nope.
Our Three Stars
1. Tyler Toffoli - first NHL goal and an assist to boot.
2. Anze Kopitar - dominated all facets of the game and added 2 points.
3. Jonathan Quick - wasn't tested too much, but stood tall when pressured.
Comment of the Night
-TwoTon21 (SW FTW!!!)
Official Game Highlights
[Not yet available, nor were there any from the 'Yotes perspective.]
Right back at it tomorrow night with these same Kings at Staples Center. Maybe the Coyotes will score a goal...