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Coyotes Beat Kings in Preseason Home Opener

by Dave Vest / Arizona Coyotes

GLENDALE – Keith Yandle notched a short-handed goal and two assists to lead the Coyotes to a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday night at Arena in Phoenix’s first of two home preseason games.

The Kings jumped to a 2-0 lead on their first two shots against Coyotes starting goalie Mike Smith. But Smith settled in and stopped the next 15 shots he faced, and his teammates slowly but surely took control of the game.

Prospect goalie Mike Lee, who played the third period in place of Smith, stopped all seven shots he faced.

Photo by Getty Images.

Coyotes defenseman Rostislav Klesla was taken off the ice on a stretcher after being hit by Kings forward Jordan Nolan at 9:44 the first period. Klesla waved to the crowd as he was wheeled of the ice.

After the game, Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said Klesla was alert but taken to a nearby hospital.

“He got his bell run pretty good,” Tippett said. “I’m not sure exactly what they’re looking at.”

Shane Doan notched a 5-on-3 power-play goal, an assist and five hits. Jordan Szwarz and Mikkel Boedker scored Phoenix’s other goals.

"LA plays with a competitive edge," Doan said. "(It) brings out the best in some of us. It’s hockey, it’s fun.”

Prospects Max Domi, Connor Murphy, Lucas Lessio and Henrik Samuelsson all made their debut in a Coyotes sweater.

Domi, whose father Tie watched from the stands, assisted on Yandle’s short-handed goal.

“It was good that we got them eased into the game and then we gave them a lot more ice time as it went along,” Tippett said of the young players. “They responded well.”

Tanner Pearson and Brandon Kozun scored goals 1:48 apart early in the first period to give LA a 2-0 lead.

The Coyotes, however, responded after Nolan’s hit on Klesla.

“When one of your players gets hurt you do whatever you can to bounce back. We did a good job battling back.”

Coyotes forward Paul Bissonnette received a game misconduct penalty after leaving the bench to fight Nolan on Nolan’s first shift after leaving the penalty box.

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