Sarah McLellan: Coyotes earn needed win over Kings
It was the second straight game the Coyotes had a two-goal lead evaporate and fourth time in their last nine games it happened. But like they did Saturday against the Calgary Flames, the Coyotes rebounded.
This time, Halpern was the savior. He scored with 3:05 remaining on a shot from the faceoff circle that needed video review to determine it would count.
Earlier in the period, defenseman Keith Yandle tallied the tying goal after the Coyotes fell behind to the Kings, who scored three consecutive goals.
Sarah McLellan: Coyotes’ Dave Tippett wants to start Mike Smith rest of season
“He was a little down this morning, so (we kept) him off the ice,” Tippett said. “Hopefully that gives him a spark.”
But Smith was indeed back between the pipes for his ninth consecutive start. Even before taking on the Kings, Smith ranked first in the league in games (58), starts (57), shots-against (1,755), saves (1,605) and time-on-ice (3,379:37).
Tippett has made it clear he intends to rely on Smith the rest of the way, but “he’s gotta be physically ready to ride,” he said.
FOX SPORTS ARIZONA
Craig Morgan: Halpern’s late goal lifts Coyotes over Kings
With center Martin Hanzal providing a spark on his return from a lower-body injury and Smith standing tall once again, Phoenix reversed that trend and carried the play early in the third period to get momentum back in its favor.
Hanzal did the dirty work down low before the puck squirted back to Yandle for a low slapshot that slipped past Quick’s glove. Halpern’s game-winner came from a tough angle, slipping over the goal line before Quick pulled it out, stymied Shane Doan on a rebound then waited for the review to seal L.A.’s third straight loss.
SB Nation: FIVE FOR HOWLING
Christopher Hair: Phoenix Coyotes at Los Angeles Kings Recap: 21-1
As time ticked down past the four minute mark, the puck ended up on Jeff Halpern’s stick with an open net. He got the shot off and Quick appeared to make an acrobatic save that left a rebound in front of the crease. Doan pounced on it and was absolutely robbed by Quick as he swung his stick behind his head. After a whistle moments later, the play was reviewed and the replay showed that Halpern’s initial shot indeed crossed the goal line before Quick got to it, giving the Coyotes a good goal with 3:05 left in the third. Mike Smith made four save in the final minutes and Zbynek Michalek blocked two shots and the Coyotes closed the door on a 4-3 victory, handing the Kings their first defeat on the season when leading after two periods.