In the first of three meetings with the Kings in LA, the Arizona Coyotes have come away with the cake after losing both match-ups in Glendale. Jordan Martinook and Brendan Perlini each scored twice while Mike Smith kept doing what Mike Smith does, winning games when facing more than 40 shots, as Arizona finished their recent road trip with a 5-3 beat down of LA.
1-0 Arizona - Coming in on a power play rush, Radim Vrbata throws the net toward the middle of the offensive zone for Brendan Perlini in the slot. Drew Doughty is there to intercept the pass, but he fails to control the puck and it bounces over his stick to it’s intended receiver of Perlini. Perlini fanned on his first shot but recovered, taking the puck a bit further wide and shooting again and scoring on Peter Budaj who may have been caught out of position from the initial fanned shot. Assists to Vrbata and Oliver Ekman-Larsson at 4:51.
2-0 Arizona - Tobias Rieder battled his way in front of the net from behind the crease and scored, only for the puck to bounce out of the net with no whistle or goal awarded. During the play Jordan Martinook is crushed into the net on top of Peter Budaj and Josh Jooris hammers the puck in after Arizona wins back possession. After review, Rieder is awarded the goal on the initial play. Assists to Martinook and Alex Goligoski at 5:07.
No goals in the second period as the Kings heavily out shot the Coyotes 12 shots to 5.
2-1 Arizona - After giving up a big rebound from a shot from the far left of his goal, Mike Smith is unable to recover fast enough to the right post to cover the inbound shot. Tanner Pearson takes full advantage of the rebound, finally getting the Kings on the board. Assists to Jeff Carter and Dustin Brown at 8:38.
3-1 Arizona - Brendan Perlini and Christian Dvorak enter the zone on a 2 on 1 chance after breaking past the Kings with speed in the neutral zone. Using Dvorak as a passing decoy, Perlini takes his time and places his shot perfectly low on Peter Budaj’s glove side. Assisted by Alex Goligoski at 9.55.
3-2 Arizona - With the puck behind the net, the Kings battle and push their way in front of Mike Smith with possession. Eventually it ends up on the end of Dustin Brown’s stick where he takes a shot from up close. Smith makes the initial save but it falls back to Brown’s stick. On his second attempt, as he’s being pushed down onto the ice by Ryan White, Brown beats Smith. Assisted by Tanner Pearson at 11:07.
4-2 Arizona - Short handed, Jordan Martinook enters the zone along the boards and lets rip a wrister which beats Peter Budaj on the short side. Unassisted at 14:08.
5-2 Arizona - Josh Jooris battles the puck out to the neutral zone where Christian Dvorak picks up the puck. Dvorak turns and passes ahead into the offensive zone where Jordan Martinook receives all alone and shoots the puck into an empty net. Assists to Dvorak and Jooris at 18:35.
5-3 Arizona - With a late power play for the Kings, LA is able to cycle the puck the around the zone, eventually sending it behind the net. There they center it right in front of Mike Smith where Tanner Pearson has the luxury of space and time to beat Smith. Assists to Anze Kopitar and Jake Muzzin at 19:37.
- How rusty will the Kings be? - Rusty enough for the Coyotes to get the jump on the Kings, as the Desert Dogs scored twice in the first 5:07 minutes of the game to take an early lead.
- Will Martin Hanzal’s goal streak continue? - Unfortunately not, Hanzal went pointless for the first time since February 4th and failed to record a shot on goal against the Kings.
- Can the Coyotes keep the shot count close? - Far from it. After the first period the Kings dominated this category, finishing the night doubling Coyotes shot count 44 shots to 22. Not a healthy stat category for Arizona.
Players of the Game
Arizona - Mike Smith - Smith faced 21 shots in the third period alone. His huge effort kept the Coyotes ahead all night as a lesser goaltender would have crumbled under the pressure. Finished the night with a healthy .932 save percentage, making 41 saves on 44 shots.
LA - Tanner Pearson - Pearson was the busiest King for the night, finishing with 2 goals and an assist for 3 points on the night - also was unlucky to have another goal disallowed.
- For more on the LA Kings, check out Jewels from the Crown.
- Scratched for the first time this season was the healthy Jamie McGinn. Joining him on the sidelines were Jakob Chychrun for his 3rd straight scratching and Lawson Crouse who remains scratched with a lower body injury.
- Peter Holland will replace Jamie McGinn in the lineup, starting the game centering the 4th line between Ryan White and Jordan Martinook.
- Meanwhile Josh Jooris started his night in the right wing position on the 3rd line, playing alongside center Alexander Burmistrov and Tobias Rieder.
- Prior to the game it was announced that Louis Domingue is day-to-day with a lower body injury. As a result, Marek Langhammer was an emergency recall from the Tucson Roadrunners in the AHL to act as Mike Smith’s backup for the match against the Kings.
- It was Pride Night at the Staples Center as the Coyotes took on the Kings, with LA supporting the You Can Play Project to celebrate inclusiveness and diversity in the NHL and the great sport of hockey.
- The victory over the Kings marked the 1,200th win in Coyotes’ franchise history.
- Tonight was Brendan Perlini’s second multi goal game in the NHL, and Jordan Martinook’s third.
.@ArizonaCoyotes goalie Mike Smith is 7-0-3 in the 10 games in which he has faced 40 shots or more this season. Quite remarkable.— Dave Vest (@davest4yotes) February 17, 2017
The Coyotes will return home for a two game home stand against Pacific Division opponents. First up is the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night, which is being promoted as Arizona’s “20th Anniversary Game.” Puck drop is at 6:00pm Arizona time at Gila River Arena and the came can be view on Fox Sports Arizona or tuned into on ESPN Phoenix 620 AM.