30 SOG
33 SOG

Coyotes spoil Kings opener with 6-3 win | Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:17 AM

LOS ANGELES -- The Phoenix Coyotes' off-ice situation didn't stop them from spoiling opening night for the Los Angeles Kings

Radim Vrbata returned to the Coyotes and scored twice as the Coyotes jumped to a 2-0 lead and never looked back on the way to a 6-3 victory over the Kings on Saturday night. Matthew Lombardi, Daniel Winnik, Scottie Upshall and Robert Lang also scored for the Coyotes, a franchise that spent the summer in bankruptcy court.

It was a successful debut for new coach Dave Tippett, who got the job when Wayne Gretzky stepped down during training camp -- days before a U,S, Bankruptcy Court judge rejected two offers to buy the team.

 “It’s just one game,” Tippett said. “Tonight it’s a good feeling for those players, but the thing about this league is you have to step up for the next one.”

The Kings were their own worst enemy -- four of the Coyotes' goals came off turnovers.

"Clearly that’s out of character for us," Los Angeles coach Terry Murray said. "We turned it over a few times. It’s not like we had breakaways or breakdowns in our system … it’s something we’ve got to work on."

Phoenix struck first just 5:31 into the game with a power-play goal when a wide-open Vrbata, who came back to the Coyotes after signing with Tampa Bay and then playing in Europe last season, took a pass from Ed Jovanovski and fired a shot past Jonathan Quick's stick.

“The first goal gave me confidence and we played well overall,” Vrbata said. “I’m just glad I could help. And if we’re going to play like this (every game), we can surprise a lot of people.”

Lombardi made it 2-0 at 17:48, and Winnik's tip of Zbynek Michalek's shot 8:22 into the second period gave the Coyotes a three-goal lead.

The Kings finally gave the sellout crowd something to cheer about when Anze Kopitar hacked a puck past Ilya Bryzgalov for a power-play goal at 10:37.

But Vrbata's second goal of the game, off a feed from Petr Prucha following a turnover, made it 4-1 at 14:08.

Alexander Frolov's power-play goal in the final minute of the second period again cut the margin to two goals, but third-period goals by Upshall and Lang put the game out of reach.

“I don’t think we were surprised at all,” Upshall said of the offensive output. “It was a big day. I’m glad to chip in. I like our speed, we got offense and defense up and down the lineup.”

Drew Doughty added a window-dressing power-play goal with 8:04 remaining.

Bryzgalov finished with 30 saves as the Coyotes improved to 5-1 in their last six season-openers.

"We didn’t pass the puck, the puck was bouncing all over the place," Kopitar said. "Maybe it was a lack of concentration or something. We have to bear down on the (chances) we got."

-- Bruce Bourquin, Correspondent
Scoring Summary
1st Period
05:31PHX PPG - Radim Vrbata (1) Slapshot - ASST: Ed Jovanovski (1) 1 - 0 PHX
17:48PHX Matthew Lombardi (1) Backhand shot - ASST: Peter Mueller (1), Jim Vandermeer (1) 2 - 0 PHX
2nd Period
08:22PHX Daniel Winnik (1) Tip-in - ASST: Zbynek Michalek (1), Vernon Fiddler (1) 3 - 0 PHX
10:37LAK PPG - Anze Kopitar (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Ryan Smyth (1), Dustin Brown (1) 3 - 1 PHX
14:08PHX Radim Vrbata (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Petr Prucha (1) 4 - 1 PHX
19:17LAK PPG - Alex Frolov (1) Slapshot - ASST: Jarret Stoll (1), Drew Doughty (1) 4 - 2 PHX
3rd Period
00:31PHX Scottie Upshall (1) Slapshot - ASST: NONE 5 - 2 PHX
08:25PHX Robert Lang (1) Slapshot - ASST: NONE 6 - 2 PHX
11:56LAK PPG - Drew Doughty (1) Slapshot - ASST: Anze Kopitar (1), Ryan Smyth (2) 6 - 3 PHX
Penalty Summary
1st Period
04:19LAK Drew Doughty  Holding against  Martin Hanzal
09:01PHX Peter Mueller  Holding against  Davis Drewiske
2nd Period
05:27LAK Drew Doughty  Hooking against  Mikkel Boedker
09:05PHX Scottie Upshall  Slashing against  Dustin Brown
18:18LAK Jack Johnson  Roughing against  Scottie Upshall
18:18PHX Scottie Upshall  Roughing against  Jack Johnson
18:55PHX Keith Yandle  Holding against  Anze Kopitar
3rd Period
09:09LAK Ryan Smyth  Hi-sticking against  Lauri Korpikoski
11:10PHX Scottie Upshall  Holding against  Davis Drewiske
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays1/33/4
Faceoff Wins3323
Blocked Shots511
Penalty Minutes108
2J. VandermeerD0133019:23
3K. YandleD0000214:13
4Z. MichalekD0120023:56
8S. UpshallL1022613:28
11M. HanzalC0010017:29
15M. LombardiC1023017:39
16P. PruchaR0112015:16
17R. VrbataR2016017:44
19S. DoanR0021018:13
20R. LangC1012014:48
29L. KorpikoskiL0010014:26
33A. AucoinD0032022:58
34D. WinnikC101209:41
38V. FiddlerC0110012:33
44K. SauerD0012016:32
55E. JovanovskiD0113021:28
88P. MuellerC0111213:28
89M. BoedkerL0011010:05
30I. Bryzgalov3033.90960:00
2M. GreeneD00-11017:26
3J. JohnsonD00-33222:40
7R. ScuderiD00-31021:27
8D. DoughtyD11-22422:55
11A. KopitarC11-22018:22
14J. WilliamsR00-11015:54
15B. RichardsonR00-10010:57
17W. SimmondsR00-11014:44
23D. BrownR01-17016:52
24A. FrolovL10-12015:33
26M. HandzusC00-11016:31
28J. StollC01-13016:49
41R. IvanansL00-1107:44
44D. DrewiskeD0000015:50
53A. MartinezD00-22016:01
54T. PurcellR00-11014:03
61T. LewisC00-10010:45
94R. SmythL02-25218:27
32J. Quick2430.80059:48