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Kings top Coyotes in Rookie Game Matinee

by Anthony Perez / Arizona Coyotes

GLENDALE -- After defeating the Los Angeles Kings rookies the night before, the Coyotes’ rookies dropped a 3-1 decision to LA on Wednesday afternoon in the second game between the Pacific Division rivals at Gila River Arena.

The Kings brought the pressure early and struck first at the 12:53 mark of the first period when forward Spencer Watson beat Coyotes goaltender Brendan Burke from his right side to give the visitors a 1-0 advantage. It was the only goal Burke allowed in the period despite LA's numerous scoring chances.

Photo by Norm Hall.

After the game, Portland Pirates GM/Head Coach Ray Edwards, who coached the Coyotes rookies in the two games vs. LA, said the netminders - Burke, Marek Langhamer and Adam Brown - stuck out to him during the Rookie Camp games.

"I thought all three goaltenders played really well," Edwards said. "Burkie today, he held us in there in that first period. Those guys were really good."

Later in the first period, the Coyotes gained momentum when Brendan Perlini, the 12th overall selection in this year’s NHL Draft, was fed the puck in front of the LA net by Christian Dvorak and flipped it past Kings goaltender Brandon Maxwell with 3:37 to play in the period.

"It (the puck) got kicked out wide, I saw there was an opportunity for a two-on-one, I kind of went hard to the net and I got a good pass, got a good, little deke and went upstairs," said Perlini, who had two goals in the two games against the Kings.

LA took a 2-1 advantage over Arizona when a rebound in front of the net found the blade of Valentin Zykov’s stick and he fired it past Burke at the 3:09 mark of the first period.

Moments later, Arizona forward Yan-Pavel Laplante had a lengthy fight with Kings forward Vincent Arseneau, and later in the period Coyotes forward Dyson Stevenson dropped the gloves with LA’s Kurtis MacDermid as physical play punctuated the second period.

Yan-Pavel Laplante (right) Photo by Norm Hall.

Both teams changed goaltenders heading into the third period and Adam Brown relieved Burke between the pipes and carried over his strong play, too; he made a number of key saves on two shorthanded opportunities late in the third period.

With under two minutes left in regulation, Edwards pulled Brown but the Kings tacked on their third goal when forward Michael Mersch notched an empty-net goal.

Despite the loss, Edwards said he was satisfied with his team’s effort today, especially considering the limited amount of time that he had to get the squad ready for the game.

"There were about four or five Grade A shots that we hit the glass with," Edwards said. "Last nights those ones went in. But the effort was good."

The Coyotes elected not to dress top prospects Max Domi, Henrik Samuelsson, Tobias Rieder and Lucas Lessio.

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