With the St. Louis Blues defeating the Nashville Predators earlier in the night, the LA Kings playoff chances remained in their control as they took on the Arizona Coyotes.
Given their season was on the line, one would imagine that the Kings would be the hungrier of the two teams on the ice in the Staples center tonight.
But for the majority of the game, it was the Coyotes hungrier for the win and ultimately they came away with a sweet 2-1 victory over LA, eliminating them from playoff contention.
1-0 Arizona - After having a Brendan Perlini power play goal reversed by a LA coach’s challenge, Arizona remain on the power play and score anyway courtesy of a beautiful Oliver Ekman-Larsson pass right onto the tape of Alexander Burmistrov’s stick. The puck is then deflected in at close range past Jonathan Quick. Assists to Ekman-Larsson and Alex Goligoski at 19:45.
2-0 Arizona - With Oliver Ekman-Larsson playing down low to keep possession of the puck, Max Domi ends up with the biscuit behind the net and feeds Anthony Duclair with a lovely pass to the slot. Duclair’s initial shot is blocked by a LA defender but Duclair is able to pick up the rebound and shoot the puck home. Assists to Domi and Ekman-Larsson at 3:09.
2-1 Arizona - On the power play, Alec Martinez dumps the puck into the Kings’ offensive zone, attempting to ring it around behind the net. However on its way, it hits Jordan Martinook and redirects toward the goal. Mike Smith had already left the net to play the puck as it comes around the boards but instead thanks to the deflection flies into a wide empty net. Assist to Paul Ladue at 4:21.
1. Can the Yotes eliminate the Kings? As the Nashville Predators lost to the St. Louis Blues earlier in the night it was up to Arizona to eliminate LA, and eliminate they did.
2. Will the offense be on or off today? The Coyotes offense was both on and off today. for a period between the 10 minute mark in the first period and the 10 minute mark in the third period they were on fire and looked lethal. The first 10 minutes and the last 10 minutes of the game was all Kings as the Coyotes looked to hold on during these segments.
3. Where is Max Domi? Domi registered a beautiful assist on Anthony Duclair’s tally and was unlucky not to net an empty net goal at the end of the match.
Players of the Game
LA - Jonathan Quick - Statistically speaking it was not a fantastic night for Quick, however he made some excellent saves including an incredible save on Peter Holland in the first period. Despite the Kings’ season being on the line, Quick was truly the only King who looked interested in winning.
Arizona - Mike Smith - Deserved a shut out and would have had one if it were not for the Kings’ lucky lone goal. Finished with 34 saves on 35 shots with a very healthy .971 save percentage.
- For more on the LA Kings, check out Jewels from the Crown.
- Kevin Connauton made his return to the Arizona Coyotes’ lineup after missing the past 15 games with an upper body injury.
- Jakob Chychrun was scratched tonight, making way for Connauton who started paired with Anthony DeAngelo.
- Other scratches for the night for Arizona included Clayton Keller, Zbynek Michalek, Teemu Pulkkinen and Jamie McGinn.
- Anthony Duclair’s 2nd period goal was his first since he scored against the New York Rangers on the 29th of December last year.
- Arizona finish the season winning 3 of their 5 bouts against LA.
- Both sides gave up 1 power play goal tonight, however Arizona had 11:37 total play time short handed while LA only had 59 seconds short handed.
The Coyotes will play their last road game of the season on Tuesday night in Dallas to take on the Stars. Puck drop is at 5:30pm Arizona time and the game can be viewed on Fox Sports Arizona Plus or tuned into on ESPN Phoenix 620 AM.