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The Wrap: Coyotes' Win Streak Snapped in Los Angeles

Arizona maintains three-point lead on St. Louis for final West Division playoff position

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Arizona Coyotes
Final Score: Kings 4, Coyotes 3
Record: 19-16-5
Standings: 4th-place, West Division

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The Coyotes were unable to protect a two-goal, third period lead Wednesday night at STAPLES Center, falling to the Los Angeles Kings by a 4-3 final.

The loss was just the second in the Coyotes' previous eight games. It snapped the team's three-game win streak. 

"We took our foot off the gas," Lawson Crouse said. "I think we thought it was going to be easy. In this league, you can't do that. It's sour. These are the games that keep you up at night." 

The Coyotes built a 3-1 lead through two periods.

Lawson Crouse whacked home his third goal of the season to open the scoring in the first period, 1-0. Ilya Lyubushkin followed shortly thereafter, scoring his first NHL goal with a slap shot from the right point, doubling Arizona's advantage, 2-0.

The Kings scored late in the first period, but Johan Larsson reclaimed a two-goal lead for the Coyotes, 3-1, in the second period. 

Los Angeles scored three unanswered goals in the third. 

"This is a learning lesson for our group," Crouse said. "It's just like that - bang, bang, bang - and we're down 4-3. We're not happy in there, but we have a group that's ready to bounce back." 

The Coyotes are now 3-2-0 on their nine-game road trip, which continues Friday in Vegas. 

"We've got to have a good practice tomorrow," said head coach Rick Tocchet. "We flush (this game) down and get ready for Vegas. That's the world we live in right now. You've got to be even keel. I know we're disappointed. We gave it away, and we have to learn from it." 

Jason Demers noted the Coyotes' "tremendous" ability to bounce back from disappointing losses this year.

"The guys take these losses to heart," Demers said. "They know we've got to be a lot better and tighten up, especially with this really tough stretch of three (games) in four nights coming up. We need to make sure we have a quick bounce back. We can be angry tonight, but we've got to get ready for Vegas."

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The Game:

First Period: Lawson Crouse opened the scoring at 9:03, giving the Coyotes a 1-0 lead. Ilya Lyubushkin doubled the Coyotes' lead, 2-0, at 14:44. Jaret Anderson-Dolan cut the Kings' deficit in half, 2-1, at 17:21.

Second Period: Johan Larsson increased the Coyotes' lead, 3-1, at 5:55.

Third Period: The Kings scored three unanswered goals: Adrian Kempe (1:18), Jeff Carter (4:17) and Carl Grundstrom (13:55). 

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Statistics:

SOG: ARI - 27, LAK - 30

PP: ARI - 0/2, LAK - 0/1

Hits: ARI - 27, LAK - 25

Blocks: ARI - 9, LAK - 11 

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Tocchet's Take: "We're going to have to (flush this game). It's no different than last week when we got killed by Colorado. We came back, we bounced back. So, same thing. We've got to re-evaluate some guys and get some guys going, we need some of our good players to really lock it down."

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Jason Demers said: "Guys are pissed right now. They know. I think that's something that's good to have. The guys know what we did wrong and we know what we messed up. It's just about executing. We've just got to get pissed off and make sure we don't let that happen again. When we get in a situation like this again where we're up, we need to tighten up and make sure we continue playing our game, because that's what got us the 3-1 (lead)."

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Notable:

  • Ilya Lyubushkin scored his first NHL goal.
  • Jakob Chychrun registered multiple points (2A) for the third straight game and has totaled seven points (3G, 4A) during that stretch. Chychrun is tied with Phil Kessel and Conor Garland for the team lead in multi-point games (8).
  • Jakob Chychrun set a new single season, career-high for assists (17), surpassing his previous high of 15 in 2018-19.
  • Johan Larsson extended his point streak to four games, matching the longest of his career (Mar. 29 - Apr. 5, 2016).
  • Lawson Crouse (1G, 1A) and Christian Fischer (2A) recorded multi-point games.

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A Closer Look: The Coyotes maintain a three-point lead over the St. Louis Blues for the fourth and final West Division playoff position. The Blues beat the Vegas Golden Knights, 3-1, Wednesday night, and have one game in hand on the Coyotes. St. Louis begins a three-game series against third place Minnesota Friday night. Arizona begins a two-game series against second place Vegas Friday night.

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Coyotes Lineup: 

Forwards

Keller - Larsson - Kessel

Crouse - Dvorak - Fischer

Bunting - Schmaltz - Garland

Chaput - Brassard - Pederson

Defensemen

Chychrun - Goligoski

Ekman-Larsson - Lyubushkin

Oesterle - Demers

Scratches

Hayden

Hunt

Caggiula

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Roster Notes: Lane Pederson replaced Drake Caggiula in the lineup, Michael Chaput replaced John Hayden and Jordan Oesterle replaced Jordan Gross. Tyler Pitlick (lower-body), Niklas Hjalmarsson (upper-body), Antti Raanta (lower-body) and Darcy Kuemper (lower-body) remain on the Injured Reserve list.

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What's Next: The Coyotes travel to Vegas Wednesday night and have a practice scheduled Thursday afternoon. They play the Golden Knights Friday night, 7:00 p.m., at T-Mobile Arena. 

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Photo of the Game: Ilya in LA. Lyubushkin celebrates his first NHL goal with teammates Christian Fischer and Lawson Crouse.

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Highlights:

Video: Condensed Game: Coyotes @ Kings

Lead Photo Credit:

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