Kings visit Coyotes, look to extend winning streak to 5 games
The Los Angeles Kings will look to win their fifth straight game when they face the Arizona Coyotes on Friday in Tempe, Ariz.
The Kings wrapped up a three-game homestand with a 4-3 victory over the Calgary Flames on Thursday as Adrian Kempe scored with 1:38 left in overtime by finishing off a two-on-one break with Viktor Arvidsson.
“I think that was a well-played game by both teams,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “That was tight checking, not a lot of space. The odd breakdown, but the goaltenders played well, special teams were dangerous on the power play, but the penalty kills played pretty good.
“Felt like a playoff game, that’s what it felt like.”
Following a tight-checking first two periods with little scoring, the Kings and Flames combined for four third-period goals.
Blake Lizotte and Phillip Danault scored just 10 seconds apart early in the third to give the Kings a 3-1 lead.
“His tenacity is hard to handle,” McLellan said of Lizotte. “The size advantage doesn’t always go to the bigger guy when you’ve got a little rat, I guess, for the lack of a better term, buzzing around all the time in your equipment and stripping pucks. He was a really effective player tonight.”
But the Flames didn’t surrender. Tyler Toffoli and Dillon Dube scored consecutive goals, with Dube tying the game with 6:28 remaining.
Kings backup goalie Pheonix Copley (6-1-0) made 27 saves to post his fourth-straight victory and forward Gabriel Vilardi snapped a 10-game goal scoring drought with his team-leading 14th goal.
The Kings are hoping to get forward Brendan Lemieux back on the ice soon. He has missed the past 19 games with a lower-body injury, but he was activated from injured reserve on Thursday.
This is the first game of a three-game homestand for the struggling Coyotes, who have won just three games this month.
The Coyotes, one of the lowest-scoring teams in the Western Conference, lost four of their past five and 14 of their past 18.
Arizona is led offensively by forward Clayton Keller, who has 12 goals and 30 points in 31 games. Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere has 15 assists and 23 points in 31 games.
In the Coyotes’ most recent game on Wednesday, Mark Stone scored twice late as the Vegas Golden Knights exploded for four third-period goals and a 5-2 victory.
Christian Fischer had a goal and an assists, while Juuso Valimaki also scored for the Coyotes.
“Stupidity, mistakes, turnovers, lack of effort on back-check,” Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny said. “That’s too bad because … we played a good game. We did a lot of good things against a really good team. We’re right there. We’re one goal, one shot away, and you could not stay with it.”
In the teams’ previous meeting this season, Anze Kopitar scored two goals, including the game-winner at the 5:22 mark of the third period. Los Angeles rallied from a 3-1 deficit midway through the second period by scoring the game’s final four goals to pull out a 5-3 win over the Coyotes on Dec. 1.
–Field Level Media