The View from Phoenix - LA Kings Insider


Sarah McLellan: Phoenix Coyotes suffer shutout against Los Angeles Kings

“Obviously, we didn’t score a goal so something’s was wrong there,” center Martin Hanzal said. “But I thought L.A. just played a better game tonight. They outcompeted, outhit us, outplayed us today, so it was as simple as that.”

It was a tough turnaround for the Coyotes, who lost in a shootout the night before at home to the Winnipeg Jets, but that result upped the importance of this one.

And yet the Kings were in control most of the game. They went up 1-0 only 1:20 into the first period when defenseman Zbynek Michalek’s clearing attempt was picked up by Kings center Jeff Carter. He led the attack back into the Coyotes zone, and winger Tanner Pearson one-timed a cross-ice feed from Carter for the early lead.


Craig Morgan: Coyotes routed by Kings

The Coyotes dropped their third consecutive game — the first time that has happened since the first three games out of the Olympic break capped a four-game skid — and the schedule ticked off another date without any precious points in a 4-0 loss to the L.A. Kings on Wednesday at Staples Center.

There’s no guarantee that projected playoff-point cutoffs will prove correct, but the most common current cutoff has Western Conference teams needing 95 points to get in. Phoenix has 85 with five games left. If that projected cutoff proves accurate, the Coyotes would need to go 5-0. Anybody see that coming from a team that hasn’t won more than three in a row since early November?

The Stars now have two games in hand, are even in points and own the tiebreaker.


Will Sowards: Phoenix Coyotes @ Los Angeles Kings recap: Coyotes hit rock bottom in LA

With 14 seconds remaining in the penalty kill, Drew Doughty sent the puck short side on Thomas Greiss and made the game 2-0.

Despite this and the two other goals, Greiss was not the ultimate problem in this game. In fact, he actually did quite well. The problem was the Coyotes’ defense. By the end of the second the Kings had outshot the Coyotes 22-12 and had already given Carter two breakaway opportunities.

No goaltender is consistently that good. Not Patrick Roy, not Ken Dryden, not Mike Smith. If you keep peppering a goalie and allowing breakaways eventually something is going to find a way in. At 9:10 in the third it did, as Carter finally put one home and gave the Kings a sickening 3-0 lead.