Photo Credit: Norm Hall
COYOTES STARTING LINE UP
(LW) Ladislav Nagy - (C) Jeremy Roenick - (RW) Shane Doan
(D) Nick Boynton - (D) Matt Jones
Phoenix - Curtis Joseph
Los Angeles - Mathieu Garon
On Saturday night, the Phoenix Coyotes exploded for six goals as they defeated the Los Angeles Kings by the score of 6-4 at Jobing.com Arena.
The Coyotes offense would get things going early in the first period when Jeremy Roenick tipped a shot at the right side of the net the was stopped by Los Angeles netminder Mathieu Garon, leaving the rebound on the doorstep for Shane Doan, who swept the puck into the net for the 1-0 lead. Ed Jovanovski and Jeremy Roenick recorded assists on Doan's third goal of the season.
Phoenix would get their first test on the penalty kill at 3:31 when center Dave Scatchard was called for hooking. The Kings would use the extra attacker to their advantage as they worked the puck around the Coyotes zone before rookie sniper Anze Kopitar one-timed a pass from Rob Blake at the top of the left face-off circle that beat goaltender Curtis Joseph to tie the game at 1-1.
Los Angeles would find the back of the net on their second shot of the game as well as Tom Kostopoulos' shot from the right side that just made its way through the legs of Joseph for the 2-1 lead.
Following the Kings second goal, Coyotes Head Coach Wayne Gretzky pulled Joseph from the net in favor of David LeNeveu.
LeNeveu wouldn't have to wait long for the play to find him as Los Angeles continued to develop offensive pressure in the Phoenix end. The sustained pressure would result in Los Angeles' third goal of the contest at 11:19 of the first when Derek Armstrong tapped a puck at the right side of the net past an out-stretched LeNeveu, for a 3-1 lead.
However, the Coyotes would claw their way back into the game at 13:59 of the period when Zbynek Michalek's wrist shot from the point was tipped in the slot by rookie Enver Lisin, sending the puck over the shoulder of Garon, cutting the Kings lead to 3-2. Lisin's goal was his first of his NHL career.
Less than 30-seconds later at 14:27, Phoenix would tie the game when Patrick Fischer carried the puck behind the Los Angeles net before sending a perfect pass to the top of the crease where a waiting Georges Laraque flipped it into the net, tying the game at 3-3.
Both clubs would continue to generate scoring chances as the period played on, but neither would be able to recapture the lead as the opening period of play came to an end with the Coyotes and Kings tied at 3-3.
Phoenix would continue to bring offensive pressure at the Kings net to start the second period and would retake the lead at 2:26 when Ladislav Nagy fed a perfect pass from the left side of the ice to Yanic Perreault, who was left along in the slot; Perreault then made a great tip to send the puck at the net where Shane Doan deflected the shot past the glove of Garon, giving the Coyotes a 4-3 lead.
Los Angeles forward Craig Conroy made an ill-advised trip to the penalty box at 4:55 of the first when he was called for hooking. Just 38-seconds into the man-advantage, the Coyotes would establish their first two-goal lead of the game as defenseman Ed Jovanovski made a great shot from the face-off circle on the right side of the net that caught Garon moving from left-to-right and snuck into the net for a 5-3 lead.
Following the goal by Jovanovski, the Kings replaced netminder, Mathieu Garon with Dan Cloutier. Cloutier face his shot just 65 seconds after entering the game, but would be unable to make the stop as Coyotes defenseman Dennis Seidenberg's shot from the blueline made its way through a screen in front by Jeremy Roenick and past Cloutier, giving the Coyotes a commanding 6-3 lead.
As the period continued, so did the frequent trips to the penalty box. Both clubs would find themselves killing off hooking penalties, but would do so successfully as the period entered its final minutes with Phoenix leading by three.
The Kings showed that they weren't going to give up, despite trailing by three as they crashed the net late in the second period, sending a series of shots at the Coyotes net. Then with 2:26 to play in the stanza, Aaron Miller put a shot on goal that LeNeveu was unable to control, allowing Alexander Frolov to slide it into the goal, cutting the Phoenix lead to 6-4.
The remainder of the second period would fail to exhibit any scoring chances as the Coyotes left the ice after 40 minutes of play, with a 6-4 lead.
The Coyotes would get the chance to use their power play early in the third period when Los Angeles center Derek Armstrong was called for slashing at 1:32 of the frame. Using the extra attacker to their advantage, the Phoenix offense poured on the pressure, but Cloutier was able to cover his rebounds and keep the Coyotes from increasing their lead.
As the period continued, Los Angeles began to get more aggressive in their offense rushes, as a result they created more scoring opportunities, but were continually leaving themselves open to an odd-man rush coming back the other way.
At 9:49 of the period, Phoenix would call upon their penalty-killing unit when defenseman Nick Boynton was assessed a holding penalty. Los Angeles wasted no time in bringing the pressure on the LeNeveu and the Coyotes, but the young Phoenix goaltender continued to usher the puck away from the net and preserve the Coyotes lead.
The Kings hopes of closing the gap, took a severe blow at 16:07 of the period when Los Angeles was handed a bench minor for too many men on the ice. From there, the Coyotes were able to keep the pressure on the Kings and hold off any late scoring threats as they held on for a 6-4 win.
COMRIE OUT 3-5 WEEKS
On Saturday, the Phoenix Coyotes announced that center Mike Comrie will miss the next 3-5 weeks due to a fractured foot.
Comrie is currently tied for second on the team with 11 points (4 goals, 7 assists).