PHOENIX –The Los Angeles Kings fell back to fourth place in the Pacific Division on Tuesday night after falling to their rivals, the Phoenix Coyotes by the score of 4-2.
Despite goals by Alexander Frolov and Oscar Moller in the first and second periods respectively, the Kings were unable to escape the desert with a point. ALEXANDER THE GREAT
Kings’ right wing Alexander Frolov became the first member of the club to reach the double-digit mark in goals this season, when he scored his 10th of the year at 4:59 of the first period.
Frolov has now scored a goal in three consecutive games as well as five of the team’s last six. EVAPTORATING LEAD
For the second straight game, the Kings were unable to hold onto a one-goal lead entering the final period of play.
“You can’t win playing only 40 or 55 minutes,” said Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown
. “It’s just not good enough. “DISAPOINTING IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT”
It’s never easy to give up a lead, but after relinquishing the lead in the third period on consecutive nights, the Kings were disappointed to say the least.
“Disappointing is an understatement,” said defenseman Sean O’Donnell. “There are certain games that you’re playing a team and they kind-of dominate all game or they’re better than you, but these are two games and two teams that we felt like we could compete with them and we played good for 40 minutes in both games.
“We have to learn we’re not a good enough team not to play 60 minutes and get the win. Hopefully that’s a lesson learned these last two games.” TIGHT RACE
Despite Tuesday night’s outcome, the Pacific Division remains one of the closest in league, with just two points separating the third, fourth and fifth place teams in the division.
“That’s the difference in the game today, its such a fine line,” said Kings Head Coach Terry Murray. “It’s one pass, one decision, one deflected puck, (or) one power play and that is the difference. You have to make sure you’re coming out and playing hard and as strong and disciplined as you can.
“At this point in the season it’s so tight … we just need to learn from this and go on.”
Defenseman Sean O’Donnell echoed his coach’s statements.
“It’s a fine line in this league between winning and loosing,” said O’Donnell. “We just didn’t do the things in the third that we did in the first two, both games, gave the other team too many power plays and just not mentally sharp in the last 20 (minutes) and like I said we’re not good enough to get away with it so it’s come back and bit us both games.” WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
With another back-to-back set waiting for the Kings just three days from now, Los Angeles won’t have long to wait for a shot at redemption.
“We don’t have to go to far,” said Murray. “We had a pretty good game last night and a pretty good game here tonight that came down to the final minutes.
“There’s lots of good things to build on and lots of reason to come back on the weekend.” NOTES:
Following Tuesday’s game, the Kings held a “players-only” closed-door meeting immediately following the game…Goaltender Erik Ersberg dropped his first game to Phoenix, moving to 2-1-0 against the Coyotes in his career.
Kings Head Coach Terry Murray:
“Pretty good game last night, pretty good game here tonight. It was right down to the final minute of the game, so there’s lots of good things to build on and lots of reasons to come back on the weekend. We’ve got back-to-back games again and there’s not going to be a problem for us to find a way to come and play and play the same way. We just need to correct the few little mistakes we make…”
Kings Forward Dustin Brown:
“We just need to get back to our system. When we play within our system we win every game and have a chance. We played a good two periods tonight, but we got away from our system and it cost us…”
Kings Defenseman Sean O’Donnell:
“There’s certain games that you’re playing a team sometimes, and they just kind of dominate the whole game, or they’re just better then you. But these were two games and two teams where we felt like we could compete with them, and we played good for 40 minutes for both games, and that’s something that we need to learn to do, is that we’re a good enough team to play 60 minutes and get the win. Hopefully that’s a lesson learned in these two games…” Coyotes Head Coach Wayne Gretzky:
“When we brought [Lisin] back up he’s really played well. Tonight I thought he was okay in the first half of the game and then I thought he really picked it up in the second half of the game… I thought that line was good tonight. I thought they made a lot of good plays and had a lot of opportunities, they didn’t capitalize on them but they scored a couple good goals and that was the difference in the game...It’s a nice make up of a nice line. Defensively as a team are goals-against is really solid… Tellqvist made some key saves in the last six minutes; he was as good as he’s been again all year. He’s just been solid. I know the players like playing in front of him and he’s having fun and it’s nice to see.” Coyotes Defenseman Derek Morris:
“That’s our job; you want to get [Lisin] in a footrace with their defenseman because I don’t think many guys in the league know what kind of speed he’s got yet. He was neck and neck with that defenseman when I gave him the pass; he took three hard strides, got some room, and made shot you don’t see very often. That was a beautiful shot.” “Our forwards did an unbelievable job in the third period.” Coyotes Forward Enver Lisin:
“I just had the puck and tried to go hard to the net and then I saw that he almost had me, and I decided to shoot and got some luck.” “It means very much to me for [Gretzky] to give me support and put me on the ice. For sure, when you get sent down its not the greatest thing in your life and when you get back you’re so excited; i t’s very big for me.” By Chad Lynch