It may have been a rookie game, but do not tell the players on the ice that it did not mean anything. Game two of a two game series between the rookies of the Arizona Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings was as physical as any regular season game.
The physical play carried over from Tuesday's game as big hits, fights, and penalties were as much a part of Wednesday afternoon's game as they were the day before.
This time though, the Kings controlled much of the game in terms of possession and physicality, en route to a 3-1 victory and a series split.
More than a few Coyotes hit the ice courtesy of a powerful Kings hit in the opening period. The period was not all about hits, the offense showed up as well, as both teams found the back of the net.
After bailing his teammates out for most of the period, Coyotes goaltender Brendan Burke could not stop a Spencer Watson glove side wrist shot on the 2-on-1. Brendan Perlini answered back for the boys in Sedona Red, faking out Kings goaltender Patrik Bartosak with an inside-outside move before roofing the puck into the net. Perlini's speed and finishing ability is quickly making him a fan favorite.
The second period saw a pair of fights as Arizona's Pavel Laplante and Los Angeles' Vincent Arseneau dropped the mitts and Dyson Stevenson, for the second time in as many days, found himself a dance partner, this time Kurtis MacDermid.
Before the boxing started, there was actually some hockey being played. Valentin Zykov smacked home a rebound to give the Kings a 2-1 lead.
Los Angeles dominated the third period, but missed on several glorious scoring chances before Michael Mersch iced the game with an empty net goal.
Coyotes fans will see some of these players again in training camp, while others will be sent back to juniors or to Portland. These two teams will meet again on Monday night in their respective venues for two split squad preseason games, this time with the veterans invited.