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Recap: Coyotes Lose to Kings Despite 50-Shot Attack

by Dave Vest @davest4yotes / Coyotes Sr. Director of News Content

GLENDALE -- Desperate to keep pace with the Colorado Avalanche in the race for a berth in the playoffs, the Coyotes launched a season-high 50 shots on goal vs. Los Angeles on Tuesday night at Gila River Arena.

Playing the role of spoiler, Kings backup goalie Jack Campbell stopped all but one, and LA beat Arizona 3-1. 

"I thought we controlled that game for 58 minutes, something like that," captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson said. "But that's not how it works in hockey. Even if you deserve to win, that's not how it goes. The team that scores the most goals is going to win and that was the case tonight."

Video: Ekman-Larsson: 'We Controlled That Game'

Coyotes goalie Darcy Kuemper left the game and did not return after colliding with LA's Trevor Lewis just as Lewis was scoring the game-winning goal at 3:29 of the third period. The blade of Lewis' stick poked through Kuemper's mask and struck him in the face. 

"It looked bad, but I think he's going to be OK," Head Coach Rick Tocchet said. "He says he feels OK ... He seemed in pretty good spirits."

With the loss, and Colorado's 6-2 victory over Edmonton on Tuesday, the Coyotes dropped to four points behind the Avalanche in the race for the Western Conference's second wildcard spot. Both teams have two games left.  

"We let two (points) slip from us today, so we've got to have short-term memory and focus in on the four (points) we can get because we can't get these two back," Coyotes center Derek Stepan said.

Video: Stepan: 'They Capitalized On Their Moments'

Brad Richardson gave Arizona a 1-0 lead when he beat Campbell with a wrist shot from the slot at 16:06 of the second period. The goal was Richardson's 18th of the season, which ties him with Alex Galchenyuk for the team lead.

However, Kyle Clifford gave the Kings momentum heading into the second intermission by deflecting a shot by Tyler Toffoli past Kuemper and into Arizona's net with just 0.2 seconds left on the clock.

• The Coyotes went 0 for 6 on power plays, including an abbreviated five-on-three sequence in the first period.

"We were pressing," Tocchet said. "Obviously the power play was 0 for 6. We had some good looks; a couple guys had good looks. But we didn't score, and obviously that's been the tale this year is we've had a tough time scoring goals."

• Ekman-Larsson skated a game-high 29:53 and took a game-high seven shots on goal.

"I thought OEL played great," Tocchet said. "He was trying real hard tonight, he was upping the play." 

Calvin Pickard, playing in his first game since March 11, stopped all five shots he faced in relief of Kuemper.

• Niklas Hjalmarsson blocked two shots to reach 182 for the season, a new career-high.

• The Coyotes next play at Vegas on Thursday night. They must win that game and Saturday's home game vs. Winnipeg to have any chance of making the playoffs. Should Colorado earn just one more point, the Coyotes would be eliminated from the postseason, regardless of what they do in their final two games.

"I know guys are down, but we have to worry about winning the game in Vegas," Tocchet said. "That's it. Then we'll go from there."

Video: Tocchet: 'We've Had A Tough Time Scoring Goals'

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