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Kings beat Coyotes 4-2 for first victory

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:52 AM

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The slow start by the Los Angeles Kings could be traced directly to their top line of Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams.

The trio had neither a goal nor an assists as the defending Stanley Cup champs dropped their first three games of the season.

That all changed Saturday night as Kopitar scored twice, Brown and Williams notched assists and the Kings were a winner for the first time, beating Phoenix 4-2 while furthering the early struggles of the Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena.

Jeff Carter and Jake Muzzin also scored for the Kings, who had scored only four goals in going 0-2-1 in their first three games. Mikkel Boedker and Shane Doan scored for the Coyotes, who had two goals washed out and have lost four of their first five. Phoenix has allowed 20 goals in five games and continues to miss the steadying presence of injured goalie Mike Smith, who hasn't played since leaving in the first period on Wednesday with a lower-body injury.

Jonathan Quick made 32 saves for the Kings, who still don’t have a power-play goal -- they're now 0-for-23 -- but didn’t need one this time. Jason LaBarbera had 27 saves for Phoenix but struggled with his puck tracking and rebound control and Los Angeles capitalized.

The Kings had a golden opportunity at 11:04 of the opening period when Keith Yandle was called for roughing and Derek Morris drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. But even after Coyotes forward Boyd Gordon lost his stick for nearly a minute during the kill, the Kings managed just one shot. In all, their powerless power play finished 0-for-4.

But 1:04 into the second period another drought – this one for Kopitar -- finally came to end. He took a pass from Brown in the slot and beat LaBarbera up high for his first goal and the first points for the first line since the Kings' Stanley Cup Final against New Jersey.

Just over a minute later Coyotes got their chance at a 5-on-3 power play when Muzzin and Colin Fraser were sent off simultaneously for holding and holding the stick calls. The Coyotes didn’t muster much of an attack for the first 90 seconds before Oliver Ekman-Larsson pinged a shot off the post. The rebound caromed right to Boedker, who guided the puck to his stick and popped in his first goal of the season at 3:47.

Kopitar and the Kings answered quickly. LaBarbera was caught tracking Williams left of the crease and Williams’ centering pass found Kopitar all alone for his second of the night at 5:08.

The Kings made it 3-1 midway through the period when LaBarbera stopped Simon Gagne's shot from the right wing but left the rebound sitting in the slot for an unmarked Carter to bang home at 11:33. The two-goal lead was the Kings' first of the season.

Phoenix appeared to cut that lead in half seconds later when David Moss tipped home a Michael Stone shot from the point, but Moss was called for interfering with Quick in the crease and the goal was disallowed.

The Coyotes started the third period quickly when Doan hammered a Lauri Korpikoski feed past Quick just 22 seconds in and earned a power play less than a minute later. But the Kings survived the surge and put away the game at 8:35 when Muzzin’s wrist shot from the left point eluded LaBarbera’s glove and made it a two-goal game again.

The Coyotes had a second goal washed out with 39.6 seconds left when the whistle blew an instant before Radim Vrbata slid in a rebound sitting behind Quick in the Kings crease into the net.

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