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Arizona pesky, Kings fall 3-2 to Coyotes

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES – Former King Brad Richardson netted the winning goal with eight minutes to play Tuesday night, a game that ended in a 3-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes at STAPLES Center.

For the Kings, it’s their second loss to the Coyotes in as many meetings, and they’ve dropped to 1-2-0 on their current five-game home stand.

Although the Kings outshot Arizona 35-25, the Coyotes were pesky in the Kings’ zone, scoring all three of their goals by forcing turnovers and winning one-on-one battles when the puck was on the line.

The game got off to a good start for the Kings, and notably for Dustin Brown, who entered the game without a single goal this season.

After winning an offensive zone faceoff, Tanner Pearson fired a pass to Drew Doughty, who had dropped down into the slot. Doughty, off balance on the play, directed a backhand shot on Arizona’s Mike Smith, and Dustin Brown shoveled home the rebound past the Coyotes’ goaltender to give the Kings an early 1-0 lead.

Doughty’s assist on Brown’s goal was the 210th of his NHL career, which surpassed Lubomir Visnovsky for fifth on the Kings all-time list for assists among defensemen.

A few minutes later, Brayden McNabb, looking for an outlet as he possessed the puck behind the Kings’ net, passed the puck onto the stick of Martin Hanzal, who turned and fired a wrist shot past Jonathan Quick to tie the game 1-1.

The Kings regained the lead early in the second period while working on their first power play of the evening. Jamie McBain found Tyler Toffoli with a cross-ice pass; Toffoli caught the puck with his feet, recovered, and fired a shot past Smith high to the top-shelf.

Toffoli’s goal was his first in five games, his 10 goals leads the Kings roster.

Martin Hanzal struck again for the Coyotes midway through the second, firing a backhand shot past Jonathan Quick after the Kings failed to exit their own zone.

Gritty work awarded Arizona their third and final goal, as their hard-nosed work low in the Kings’ zone paid off when Brad Richardson tipped home a Jordan Martinook pass to give the Coyotes a 3-2 lead, the night’s eventual final score.

Six different players led the Kings in points scored (1), Jeff Carter in shots taken (6), Drew Doughty in hits delivered (5), Alec Martinez in shots blocked (5), and Drew Doughty in minutes played 26:09. Jonathan Quick made 22 saves in the loss.

The Kings will continue their home stand on Thursday night when they host the New York Islanders, with the puck set to drop just after 7:30PM PST.





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