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game recap

Kings eliminated from playoff contention with loss

Fall to Coyotes at home in must-win game

by Dan Arritt / NHL.com Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Kings were eliminated from Stanley Cup Playoff contention with a 2-1 loss to the Arizona Coyotes at Staples Center on Sunday.

Mike Smith made 34 saves, Alexander Burmistrov and Anthony Duclair each scored his fourth goal of the season, and defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson had two assists for the Coyotes (29-41-9), who have won five straight games at Staples Center.

Los Angeles (37-34-7) entered the game with its postseason hopes still alive after the Nashville Predators lost 4-1 at the St. Louis Blues, but the Predators clinched the final playoff berth from the Western Conference with the Kings loss.

 

WATCH: All Coyotes vs. Kings highlights

 

"It's a very empty feeling and sour taste," Kings captain Anze Kopitar said. "We knew what the situation was the last few games. We gave it our all. It wasn't good enough."

The Coyotes took a 1-0 lead shortly after an apparent goal was waved off following a challenge by Kings coach Darryl Sutter. Brendan Perlini beat goalie Jonathan Quick on the power play with 33 seconds left in the first period, but video review showed Arizona defenseman Anthony DeAngelo was offside prior to the goal, with 40.1 seconds remaining.

While on the same power play, Ekman-Larsson passed the puck from the top of the right faceoff circle to Burmistrov, who was stationed near the left post. Quick got his right pad on Burmistrov's first shot, but Burmistrov quickly shot the rebound into the net to make it 1-0 at 19:45 with his third goal in the past two games.

Video: ARI@LAK: Burmistrov scores a nifty power-play goal

"When we have the chance to eliminate someone out of the playoffs, we have to take our chance," Burmistrov said.

The Kings had killed off 79 of 86 opposition power plays (91.9 percent), the best rate in the NHL over that span.

"It's tough chasing the lead," Sutter said. "We had a really good first period. We took the penalty and got the challenge. You want to get out of the period."

The Coyotes extended their lead to 2-0 at 3:09 of the second period when Duclair shot his own rebound past Quick.

"Other teams are finding ways to win 2-1 or 1-0," Quick said. "From my defensive end, I wonder why we can't win 1-0 or 2-1."

Video: ARI@LAK: Martinez scores PPG on wacky deflection

The Kings got to within 2-1 at 4:21 of the third period on the first of four straight power plays for Los Angeles. Defenseman Alec Martinez was attempting to dump the puck into the Arizona zone, but it hit Coyotes forward Jordan Martinook on the inside of his right leg, redirecting it between defenseman Luke Schenn's skates and into the vacated net after Smith left the crease to chase the dump-in.

"We turned over a lot of pucks and put pressure on ourselves, but [Smith] bailed us out," Arizona coach Dave Tippett said.

 

Goal of the game

Duclair scored the game-winning goal following two giveaways by the Kings in their zone. Max Domi took possession and passed the puck from behind the net to Duclair, who scored after his initial shot hit traffic in front.

Video: ARI@LAK: Duclair recovers to beat Quick early in 2nd

 

Save of the game

Kopitar passed the puck out of the corner to defenseman Brayden McNabb, who had time to skate in close and take a shot from the bottom of the left circle, but Smith was in position for the save at 6:37 of the third period, preserving the 2-1 lead. 

 

Highlight of the game

Arizona forward Peter Holland had a nearly wide-open net after he received a cross-crease pass from Lawson Crouse, but after Holland lifted a shot over McNabb's stick blade, Quick kicked out his left skate to stop the puck just before it crossed the goal line at 10:07 of the first period.

Video: ARI@LAK: Quick makes a stunning skate save on Holland

 

Unsung performance of the game

Schenn had a plus-1 rating, one shot on goal, four hits and three blocked shots in 23:46, including 4:45 on the penalty kill.

 

They said it

"I think it was some motivation, when you have something to play for at this time of year, when you are out of the playoffs. I think it was definitely a game we knew they were going to come hard, and they are on their last life." -- Coyotes goalie Mike Smith on knowing they could eliminate the Kings with a win

 

"I'm not going to talk about the season, I'm still looking ahead. We are going to evaluate some of our players." -- Kings coach Darryl Sutter

 

Need to know

Kings forward Jarome Iginla played in his 1,550th NHL game, passing Alex Delveccio for 12th in League history. … Kopitar had an assist on Martinez's goal and has nine points (three goals, six assists) in the past 10 games. ... Coyotes defenseman Alex Goligoski had an assist on Burmistrov's goal to extend his point streak to four games (one goal, three assists). ... Arizona is 18-0-4 when leading entering the third period.

 

What's next

Coyotes: At the Dallas Stars on Tuesday (8:30 p.m. ET; FS-SW+, FS-A PLUS, NHL.TV)

Kings: Host the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SNW, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Smith's 34-save performance leads Yotes past Kings

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