Kings edge Coyotes 3-2 in eight-round shootout
Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:15 AM
The Phoenix Coyotes
finally ran out of comebacks against the Los Angeles Kings
The Coyotes overcame an early 2-0 deficit to force overtime, then overcame three one-goal deficits in the shootout. But L.A.'s Justin Williams
scored in the eighth round and Jonathan Quick
stopped Scottie Upshall to give the Kings a 3-2 victory on Thursday night.
Los Angeles improved to 6-0-1 in its last seven games by winning the longest shootout in franchise history -- one in which it went ahead on goals by Jack Johnson
, Michal Handzus and Drew Doughty
, only to see the Coyotes match on goals by Peter Mueller, Petr Prucha and Robert Lang.
The Kings (20-10-3), who won 5-4 in overtime at San Jose on Wednesday, became the first team in the Western Conference to reach 20 victories and moved within a point of the first-place Sharks in the Pacific Division.
"None of them are easy," Kings coach Terry Murray said of the victories. "It was a hard game out there. Not a hard, physical game, but more track meet-like. Lots of energy.
"The guys dug in. It wasn't always pretty, but they found a way to get it done."
Getting two wins in two nights against division rivals is another boost for a team that's trying to make the playoffs for the first time since 2002.
"It was important for us to get the two points," Johnson said. "We're happy to come out with four points in the last two games."
The loss ended the Coyotes' five-game winning streak and left Phoenix coach Dave Tippett disappointed.
"We'll take the point," he said, "but I think there were two points to be had there tonight."
The Kings started out as if they'd have an easy night, grabbing an early two-goal lead less than 14 minutes into the game.
, just recalled from AHL Manchester, put Los Angeles ahead when he scored 4:11 into the game, picking the top corner with a 10-foot wrister. Johnson made it 2-0 at 13:37 when he got the rebound after his first shot hit the crossbar and knocked the puck into the net.
"I gave myself a nice pass off the crossbar," Johnson joked in an on-ice interview after the game.
Phoenix got back into the game at 16:55 when Upshall finished off a pass from Matthew Lombardi on a 2-on-1 break, hammering a shot from the slot inside the right post.
After a scoreless second period, Phoenix pulled even 3:12 into the third period when Radim Vrbata
dunked a loose puck in the crease for a power-play goal. Quick stopped Zbynek Michalek's point shot but couldn't control the rebound, and Martin Hanzal
nudged the puck across the crease for Vrbata.
"You hate to get behind like that," Tippett said. "The chances we were giving up were a lot of unforced errors on our part that you'd like to clean up out of your game.
"But we battled back hard and wound up getting the equalizer in the third period. In the end, we'll realize we can do things a little bit better and move on."
Material from wire services and team broadcast media was used in this report.