It was a dreary, wet day in Glendale and the Arizona Coyotes did nothing to lift spirits.
Playing in front of a crowd of 12,254 just hours after a report surfaced about their general manager seeking to trade key players, the Coyotes dropped their sixth consecutive game (0-4-2) inside Gila River Arena, as the Los Angeles Kings rained goals down upon them. Poor neutral zone play led the Coyotes down a turnover-laden path resulting in Arizona's eighth home loss in 12 games this season.
"Well we were working hard, we were working awful hard, but the problem is everybody works hard and it's the execution and what you do after that, that gets the results," coach Dave Tippett said. "We're having a little struggle with that right now."
Los Angeles rolled to a 4-0 victory behind its captain Dustin Brown's three-point night, as the Kings snapped a five-game road losing streak in Arizona.
The Kings got up on the Coyotes early, capitalizing on a neutral zone turnover and poor Arizona line change to open the scoring 8:59 into the game. It was all down hill from there as the Kings controlled the game's pace throughout, forcing the Coyotes to use both of their goaltenders and continuing to add to the number of question marks piling up around the team.
The bane of Coyotes fans' existence, Dustin Brown, capitalized on a pair of Arizona mistakes to net his fifth goal of the season in a physical first period where the two teams combined for 37 hits.
Brown added his second goal of the night, through the legs of Coyotes defenseman David Schlemko, to extend the Kings' lead to 2-0 midway through the second period. A tip-in goal on the power play by Jarrett Stoll late in the middle frame was enough to chase Arizona starter Mike Smith from the game. Smith stopped 17-of-20 shots before his departure.
"I'm done with excuses. It's got to stop," Smith said. "It's easy to point fingers at everyone else but at the end of the day it's what you can do to be better. I've got to better. It's that simple.
"When you're paid to be a top player on your team you've got to perform like one. That hasn't happened."
Devan Dubnyk received the loudest ovation of the night as he secured his mask and took to the ice. He stopped all but one of the 22 shots he faced in relief.
Los Angeles kept pouring it on, as Alec Martinez, fresh off his new six-year, $24 million contract, scored his third of the season to push the Kings' lead to 4-0. Martinez' power play goal was LA's second of the game -- doubling its road total this season.
The Coyotes must find ways to win at home if they not only want to compete for a playoff spot, but generate some buzz around the team and get fans in the building. The Coyotes have been shutout in two consecutive home games. Arizona has one of the worst home records in the league and its overall record reflects it.
"Home ice is valuable and you have to take care of it and we haven't," Shane Doan said.
1. Martin Jones - Stopped all 26 shots en route to his second shutout of the season.
2. Dustin Brown - Three points and two goals including the game-winner.
3. Alec Martinez - Goal and an assist.
The Coyotes play game two of their five-game home stand on Saturday night when they take on the Boston Bruins. Puck drop is scheduled for 6 p.m.