Photo Credit: Norm Hall
COYOTES STARTING LINE-UP
(LW) Oleg Saprykin - (C) Dave Scatchard - (RW) Enver Lisin
(D) Zbynek Michalek - (D) Ed Jovanovski
Phoenix - Mike Morrison
Los Angeles - Mathieu Garon
On Thursday night, the Phoenix Coyotes dropped a 4-0 decision at the hands of Pacific Division rivals, the Los Angeles Kings.
It would take the Coyotes less than a minutes to draw their first penalty of the game as Los Angeles' Dustin Brown was called for holding-the-stick at 56-seconds of the first period. On the ensuing man-advantage, Phoenix pounded the Kings net with four shots, including an attempt from the right side of the net by Shane Doan. But Los Angeles netminder Mathieu Garon kept the net empty and the game tied at 0-0.
Shortly after the Kings returned to full strength, they received their first power play of the game when Phoenix defenseman Ed Jovanovski was sent to the box for delay-of-game when his clearing attempt sailed over the glass and into the crowd. The penalty would prove costly for the Coyotes as Alexander Frolov tipped a puck in front of the Phoenix net that flipped over goaltender Mike Morrison and into the net for a 1-0 Los Angeles lead.
As the period continued so did Phoenix's offensive chances. Whether it was Jeremy Roenick trying to tip a puck from the front of the net or Zbynek Michalek firing a slap shot from the point, the Coyotes were getting pressure on the Kings net, but once again Garon was able to hold the Los Angeles fort and preserve the one-goal lead.
With 7:39 to play in the first, the Kings nearly went ahead by two goals when Los Angeles forward Patrick O'Sullivan broke free behind the Phoenix defenders and snapped a shot on goal the beat Morrison and rang off the right goal post before heading into the corner.
At 15:25 of the period, the Coyote found themselves shorthanded again when defenseman Dennis Seidenberg was called for hooking. Just over a minute later, the Kings capitalized on the power play when rookie sensation Anze Kopitar made a highlight move when he grabbed his stick near the shaft and backhanded a puck out of mid-air into the Coyotes net for 2-0 lead.
Phoenix would find themselves shorthanded once again late in the period when Owen Nolan was whistled for hooking at 17:02 of the opening frame. This time the Kings would need just 16-seconds to capitalize as Dustin Brown took a feed at the top of the crease from teammate Sean Avery and swept it into the Coyotes net for a three-goal lead.
The final minutes of the period would tick of the clock without incident and the first period would come to an end with the Kings holding a 3-0 lead after converting on each of their power play opportunities during the opening 20-minutes of play.
The second period began with the Coyotes making a change in goal as Curtis Joseph replaced Mike Morrison.
Unfortunately, Phoenix would make another trip to the penalty box at 1:37 of the second when Owen Nolan was called for hitting Kings defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky with a high stick behind the Los Angeles net. However, this time, the Coyote penalty killers would bend without breaking as they absorbed the offensive pressure of the Kings power play and returned to full strength.
With 13:32 to play in the second the Kings would find themselves shorthanded when Sean Avery was assessed a minor penalty for diving. Despite continued pressure from the Phoenix forwards, Los Angeles was able to kill off the infraction and maintain their three-goal lead.
With just over five minutes remaining in the second, the Coyotes nearly cut the deficit to two when Dave Scatchard raced into the Kings zone along the left-hand boards and unleashed a rocket slap shot on Garon. But Scatchard's drive was just off the mark as it sailed by the net and off the boards.
The Coyotes continued to find themselves in penalty trouble late in the period as Keith Yandle (hooking), Derek Morris (delay-of-game) and Zbynek Michalek (cross-checking) were all sent to the penalty box during a span of 68-seconds. The trio of penalties would again haunt Phoenix as the Kings' Mike Cammalleri blasted a slap shot from the left face-off circle that beat Joseph, giving Los Angeles a 4-0 lead.
There would be no further scoring in the second stand as the teams skated off the ice after two period of play with Phoenix trailing by four goals.
Less than a minute into the third period, the Coyotes went back on the power play when Brent Sopel was called for holding as he dragged Dave Scatchard to the ice at 46-seconds of the period.
Phoenix would be unable to take advantage of the extra attacker, but things began to get out of control at the conclusion of Sopel's penalty. When Sopel returned to the ice, he immediately hit Scatchard with an elbow to the head, sending the Coyotes center sprawling to the ice. Defenseman Nick Boynton immediately dropped his gloves and went after Sopel. After a brief altercation, it was the Coyotes who would pay the price. As a result of his actions, Boynton was given a two-minutes for instigating, five-minutes for fighting, a 10-minute misconduct and a game misconduct while Sopel escaped without consequence.
Inspired by the actions of Boynton, the Coyotes penalty killers set out on killing off the seven-minute Kings power play. Although Los Angeles would generate steady offensive pressure, Phoenix would successfully kill off the penalties to Boynton and return to full strength.
With 7:40 to play in the contest, the Coyotes found themselves down by two skaters when Ed Jovanovski (hooking) and Derek Morris (unsportsmanlike conduct) we sent to the penalty box. 59-seconds later, Keith Yandle was escorted to the box for hooking, extending the Kings power play. But the Phoenix penalty killing unit, led by goaltender Curtis Joseph, quelled Los Angeles' scoring threat.
The remainder of third period would play itself out without any further scoring or penalties as the Coyotes suffered their first shutout of the season in a 4-0 loss to the Kings.