By; Chad Lynch
Photo credit: AP Photo/Francis Specker
On Tuesday, the Phoenix Coyotes completely dominated the Los Angeles Kings in a 6-2 win at Staples Center.
The Kings recorded the first genuine scoring opportunity of the game when Michael Cammalleri was able to enter the Coyotes zone around a fallen Zbynek Michalek and wrist a shot from the slot that beat goaltender Curtis Joseph and ricocheted off the goal post and into the corner.
Los Angeles would continue to apply pressure and it resulted in the first goal of the game at 4:11 of the period when Joseph was unable to get back to the front of the net after trying to play the puck behind the goal, thereby allowing Kings forward Jeff Cowan to wrap the puck around on his backhand and bank it off the skate of Phoenix forward Geoff Sanderson and into the net for a 1-0 lead.
Shortly after the Kings took the lead, they went on the first power play of the game as Coyotes defenseman Paul Mara was caught administering a high stick to the face of Sean Avery. On the penalty kill, the Coyotes adopted a 'bend, but don't break' approach as they were backed into their own zone, but kept the Kings form setting up in front of Joseph or getting an abundance of pucks to the net. As a result, Mara's penalty expired and the Coyotes returned to full strength.
At 8:09 of the opening frame, Phoenix pulled even when Steven Reinprecht's centering pass from behind the net was lifted to the top corner of the net by Coyotes captain Shane Doan to make it a 1-1 game.
1:02 after Doan's goal to tie the game, the Coyotes took the lead when Geoff Sanderson and Oleg Saprykin entered the Kings zone on a two-on-none breakaway. Sanderson, carrying the puck, drew Los Angeles netminder Mathieu Garon over to the left side of the net, before he sent a pass back to a wide-open Saprykin, who calmly backhanded the puck into the net for a 2-1 Coyotes lead.
It would only take 47-seconds for the Coyotes to strike again as Mike Comrie's pass into the clot from the left-hand boards in the Los Angeles zone, found Boyd Devereaux all alone. Devereaux made a quick fake and then fired the puck through the five-hole of Garon, putting the Coyotes on top 3-1.
As the period continued, the Coyotes were able to spend the majority of the time in the Kings zone, but Los Angles has responded to the three first period goals by stepping up defensively and denying Phoenix their fourth goal of the period as the buzzer sounded with the Coyotes holding a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes of action.
The first four minutes of the second period ticked off the clock with little action as the puck was continually going in and out of the Kings zone, without any scoring chances for the Coyotes.
With 15:26 to play in the second, Los Angeles center Derek Armstrong's careless stick control resulted in Phoenix forward Dave Scatchard receiving a cut near his left eye. With the presence of blood on the wound, Armstrong was sent to the penalty box for four-minutes. It didn't take long for the Coyotes to cash-in on the power play as defenseman Dennis Seidenberg's shot from the point was tipped in front by Mike Ricci and deflected past Garon and into the net to give Phoenix a 4-1 lead at 6:25 of the second stanza. With Ricci's goal coming within the first two minutes of the double-minor on Armstrong, the Coyotes were still left with two-minutes of power play time and while they would fail to add to their lead, the damage had already been done as the Kings found themselves trailing by three goals.
With 8:30 to play in the second period, the Coyotes made only their second trip to the penalty box when Mike Johnson was sent to the box for hooking. Just before the penalty to Johnson was called, Phoenix defenseman Jamie Rives blocked a slap shop off his left hand. Rivers continued to stay on the ice until a stoppage in play, at which time he headed to the bench and placed a ice pack on his hand. The Kings had one good scoring chance at the end of the power play when Mike Cammalleri's shot hit the right goal post and bounced back onto the right leg pad of Joseph where it stayed until the whistle ended the play.
The Coyotes took their second penalty of the period at 4:57 of the second, when Tyson Nash was called for hooking. Phoenix would kill off the penalty to Nash and shortly after he returned to the ice, Nash took a hit from the Kings Jeff Cowan along the boards in the Coyotes zone, sending the glass flying into the crowd. After a brief stoppage in play to repair the glass, play resumed.
The remainder of the second period was spent deep in the Kings zone but the score didn't change as the Coyotes skated off the ice after 40-minutes of play holding a 4-1 advantage.
Phoenix came out in the third period with the same intensity they displayed at the end of the second and it paid of at 1:07 of the period when Oleg Kvasha let a slap shot go from the left hand boards that was stopped by Garon, but Geoff Sanderson was able to maneuver his way to the front of the net and slam the rebound into the Kings net for a 5-1 Coyotes lead.
With 13:23 to play in the third, the Kings found themselves shorthanded once again as Sean Avery was call for holding-the-stick and once again it would prove costly when Dave Scatchard, who returned to the ice sporting a visor after taking a high-stick in the first period, snapped a shot from the slot past Garon to put Phoenix up 6-1.
Late in the third period, with the Coyotes up by a handful of goals, the Kings began to turn-up the physical play and with 6:06 left in the game, things got a little out of control as Sean Avery went after Coyotes defenseman Keith Ballard. Ballard quickly threw off his helmet to tussle with Avery, but the on-ice official were determined to keep the two apart as they jumped in and grabbed both players before the first punch could be thrown. At the same time Oleg Kvasha and Jeff Cowan were busy turning up the physical play in the Coyotes end. As a result, both Avery and Cowan were hit with 10-minute misconduct penalties while Cowan and Kvasha received matching minors.
The Kings tried to save a little face with 5:14 to play in the game when Luc Robitaille's one-timer beat Joseph to cut the Phoenix lead to 6-2.
During the final minute of play, Jamie Rivers blocked another slap shot, this time off his ankle sending the defenseman hobbling over to the bench but the outcome was longer in question as the final buzzer sounded with the Coyotes cruising to a 6-2 win.
Coyotes center Oleg Kvasha extended his point-scoring streak on Tuesday to three games with an assist on Boyd Devereaux's second period goal. Kvasha has now scored a point in all three games since being acquired by Phoenix.
TOUGH AS NAILS
Phoenix Left Wing Dave Scatchard left the game in the second period after being struck in the face by the stick of Los Angeles' Derek Armstrong.
Scatchard enhanced his repuatation as a warrior by returning to the game in the third period with a small bandage over his now broken nose.
Scatchard will be re- eval uated before Thursday's game at Nshville, but he is expected to play.