EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Coyotes prospects showed off their skill and speed on Tuesday night in a resounding 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings in the first of two rookie games at the Toyota Sports Center.
Arizona scored two extra goals during a five-minute, 3-on-3 overtime period played for exhibition purposes.
Brendan Perlini, Chase Stewart, Dylan Strome, Max Domi and Ryan MacInnis scored goals for the Coyotes in regulation. Kyle Capobianco and Conor Garland chipped in the OT goals.
“It was a huge win for sure, all the boys showed up,” Domi said. “It’s not easy to kind of go from zero to 100 like that. You have the whole summer off and to elevate your game like that in the situation we had was huge. They competed and were physical and we matched that. And at the end of the day we put more pucks in the back of the net.”
Arizona outshot LA, 43-34, over the 65 minutes.
Coyotes goalie Marek Langhamer stopped 17 of 18 shots over the first two periods, and Adin Hill stopped 14 of 16 shots in relief.
The Coyotes never trailed.
Perlini scored the game’s first goal with a wrist shot at 18:00 of the first period to cap a 2-on-1 rush.
“If you look at LA’s organization they’re big guys and they play a physical game,” Perlini said. “I think we kind of new that coming in and we expected to have a rough game out there so our game plan was to play with speed and attack them and it worked out tonight.”
After goals by Stewart and Strome, Domi, who was named team captain for this series, bumped the lead to 4-1 by scoring the game’s prettiest goal from the slot off a feed from Anthony Duclair at 4:51 of the third period. MacInnis tapped in a rebound with 7:53 left in the third period for a 5-2 lead to put the game out of reach.
The Coyotes played with just 11 forwards after Nick Merkley left the game late in the first period because of an upper-body injury he suffered when he was checked hard into the boards behind the Kings net by Kurtis MacDermid. Merkley, whom the Coyotes selected 30th overall at this year’s draft, did not return. He will not play in Game 2 on Wednesday.
“Nick got injured and it got a little hectic out there but the guys stayed focused and did a good job,” said Ron Rolston, who served as head coach for the Coyotes.
Strome also chipped in an assist in his first game since being drafted by the Coyotes third overall last June. He said competing for an NHL team for the first time felt great.
“I’ve been waiting for this day since Draft Day,” Strome said. ”It’s a special feeling wearing an NHL jersey.”
The teams will play again Wednesday at 2 p.m. All of the nine Coyotes who made the trip but did not play Tuesday will play on Wednesday, including Henrik Samuelsson, Laurent Dauphin and Matthias Plachta. Niklas Treutle will start in goal and play two periods. Hill, like he did on Tuesday, will play the third period and the 3-on-3 overtime.