The Kings couldn’t have hoped for a better return to action from the All-Star break than the one they displayed Tuesday night in their 6-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena.
Arizona was a team the Kings struggled to muster good results against so far this season, coming into the teams’ fifth and final matchup with a 1-3-0 mark against the Coyotes.
They found some solid results Tuesday.
Offense wasn’t coming easy for Dustin Brown before the break, registering just five goals during the first 49 games of the season.
He scored two Tuesday.
Jordan Martinook’s rather fluky goal was the only one scored during the first period, Arizona taking a 1-0 lead into the second.
The Kings responded though, Jake Muzzin wristing home a shot while they worked on their second power play of the evening three minutes into the second.
Anze Kopitar found Muzzin with a pass, who drifted down to the left hashmarks along the sideboards, where he then fired a shot through traffic beating Louis Domingue high to the top shelf. Jeff Carter, with position in Arizona’s crease, provided the screen.
Anthony Duclair gave the Coyotes a 2-1 lead three minutes later.
Then, the Kings wrung off five unanswered goals.
Midway through the second, Alec Martinez connected on the Kings’ second power play tally of the night to tie the game 2-2.
In what shaped up to look extremely similar to Muzzin’s goal, Martinez lined up a shot from atop the left circle after receiving a cross-ice pass from Drew Doughty, which found it’s way through Jeff Carter’s screen and past Domingue.
With just over a minute to play in the second, Marian Gaborik sped in on a two-on-one after a Coyotes defenseman broke his stick on a shot attempt atop Arizona’s zone.
Gaborik, with Dwight King on the two-on-one sequence, fooled Domingue with a quick release, beating Arizona’s goaltender with a wrist shot high to the blocker side.
A mere 12 seconds after Gaborik gave the Kings a 3-2 lead, Dustin Brown, on what initially seemed to be a harmless dump-in from the neutral zone, got the fortunes of a wacky bounce to put the Kings up by two.
Just over three minutes into the third, Dustin Brown added to the Kings’ lead, scoring his second goal of the game after flying through the neutral zone, driving wide to the right in the Coyotes’ zone, and beating Domingue with a shot low to the far side.
The Coyotes pulled Domingue in favor of Anders Lindback thereafter.
The Kings connected on their third power play goal of the evening when Vincent Lecavalier redirected an Alec Martinez feed past Lindback in front of the Coyotes’ net.
With the win, the Kings finished their season series against the Coyotes with a 2-3-0 mark.
Five different players led the Kings in points scored (2), Anze Kopitar in shots taken (5), Milan Lucic in hits delivered (6), Brayden McNabb and Alec Martinez in shots blocked (3), and Drew Doughty in minutes played (27:00). Jonathan Quick made 24 saves in the win.
The Kings now return home for a one-game home stand to host the Anaheim Ducks Thursday night at STAPLES Center, where the puck is scheduled to drop just after 7:30 PM PST.
DUSTIN BROWN -
DWIGHT KING -