– An outstanding, powerful opening shift from the Kings was quickly subdued by Zbynek Michalek’s marker two minutes into the contest, which gave Arizona an early lead, and one the Coyotes wouldn’t vanquish throughout the night.
For the Kings, it’s another tough loss, their second one to start the season – where they’ve been outscored 9-2 so far.
“Turnovers were the difference for us,” Dustin Brown said following the game. “They had a couple goals that I think were off our players, but like I said, good teams get to create their own bounces. We had a lot of really good chances in and around the net. Smith played well for them, but I don’t think they generated a whole lot on their own. It was more off of our turnovers.”
Although the Kings managed to outshoot the Coyotes 41-22, it was their own mistakes with the puck that led to Arizona’s scoring. The Kings had difficulty finding any fluidness in their zone exits, which exposed their positioning on costly turnovers that provided high-percentage scoring chances for Arizona’s forwards.
The Kings faced a two-goal deficit after the first period, and were down by four before Tyler Toffoli netted the club’s lone goal of the evening with under a minute to play in the second.
On the penalty kill, Jeff Carter hopped on a puck fumbled by Mikkel Boedker, then sped up the ice past Oliver Ekman-Larsson before getting a shot off on Mike Smith. Smith gloved Carter’s bid, but was unable to hang on; Tyler Toffoli, who was following the play, recovered the loose puck and fired it past the sprawled out goaltender.
Toffoli’s shorthanded goal follows up the five he scored last season while on the penalty kill – a department he led the league in.
The Kings were granted an early power play in the third period, and outshot the Coyotes 14-8 through the final 20 minutes, but were unable to chip away at the Coyotes’ three-goal lead.
Jeff Carter (1G) and Tyler Toffoli (1A) led all Kings players in points scored (1), Dustin Brown in shots taken (7), Brayden McNabb in hits delivered (5), Alec Martinez in shots blocked (4), and Drew Doughty in minutes played (28:44). Jonathan Quick made 18 saves in the loss.
Dustin Brown, Tyler Toffoli
The Kings will continue their five-game home stand Tuesday night when they host the Vancouver Canucks at STAPLES Center.