The Arizona Coyotes returned from a week off looking pretty rusty. They were outplayed by the Los Angeles Kings from start to finish and saw a two-goal lead evaporate as they gave up four unanswered goals in the second half of the game.
Los Angeles had all the momentum to start the game, and they started outshooting the Coyotes almost immediately. Lawson Crouse taking an early high-sticking call certainly didn’t do them any favors. Even though the Coyotes killed the early penalty, they couldn’t build much momentum, and the Kings controlled the game’s pace.
Despite being outshot, the Coyotes managed to get an early lead, thanks to a lucky bounce. Anton Strålman had the puck down low, and Cal Petersen was out of the net. Strålman fired the puck towards the front of the net and saw his shot deflect off a Kings player and into the back of the net.
Stralman gets things going! pic.twitter.com/5b9BHLuTou— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) February 20, 2022
Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for the Kings to close the gap. Twelve seconds after Strålman made it 1-0, Adrian Kempe found himself alone in the faceoff circle and fired a pass from Anze Kopitar past Vejmelka.
Arizona got their first power play midway through the opening frame but couldn’t get much going. The Kings continued to set the game’s pace, and the score remained 1-1 after 20 minutes.
The Coyotes have had some awful second periods this season, so you would be forgiven for being nervous going into the middle frame. But rather than implode, the Coyotes took the lead.
Arizona managed to string two good shifts together, and Phil Kessel was able to get the puck to Alex Galchenyuk, who was coming in with Lawson Crouse on a 2-on-1. Galchenyuk backhanded the puck over to Crouse, who re-directed the puck past Petersen and into the back of the net.
Right place, right time. ⏱ pic.twitter.com/7luFrvDQVj— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) February 20, 2022
The Coyotes weren’t happy with just a one-goal lead, and Clayton Keller seemed to feel left out specifically. His line had a good shift before Crouse scored, and he had another one after, and it seemed like he really wanted to get on the board.
It was no surprise when Keller called for the puck midway through the second. Travis Boyd passed the puck up, and Keller shot it over Petersen’s glove, making it 3-1.
Unfortunately, things started to go downhill from there. Alex Galchenyuk took a late penalty with less than three minutes left, and the Kings got their second power play of the game, and Drew Doughty got the Kings within one with his sixth of the season. But, even with a late Coyotes power play, the Kings were starting to build momentum, and Arizona would need a big third period.
But instead of coming out strong, the Coyotes’ failed to score on the power play and started the third on a whimper. Arizona still had a one-goal lead, but the Kings were pushing hard.
After a good second period, the Coyotes found themselves collapsing in the third. Trevor Moore, Drew Doughty, and Adrian Kempe all scored in the span of three and a half minutes, and the 3-2 Coyotes lead quickly changed to a 5-3 Kings lead.
The Coyotes had one more power play with five and a half minutes left but failed to cut the Kings’ lead in half. And as the minutes expired, Jakob Chychrun took a late holding call, and the Yotes couldn’t pull Karel Vejmelka for the extra attacker. Arizona ran out of time, and the game finished with the Desert Dogs down 5-3 to the Kings.
While the Coyotes did a good job regaining the lead and building off it in the second, they failed to secure it in the third.
Special teams again proved to be a killer. The Coyotes failed to score on their three power plays, but the Kings scored twice in four opportunities. And not coincidentally, the Kings won by two.
Hayton's back, let's roll. pic.twitter.com/AsrgwDAIdS— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) February 20, 2022
- Drew Doughty - 2 goals and an assist
- Adrian Kempe - 2 goals and an assist
- Clayton Keller - Goal
The Coyotes will be back in action tomorrow as they face off against the Dallas Stars at 5:00 pm Arizona time.