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Coyotes edge Kings on Richardson's goal

by Curtis Zupke / NHL.com

LOS ANGELES -- Brad Richardson's smile couldn't have been much bigger when asked if it felt good to beat his former team.

"Always," Richardson said.

Richardson has had a lot of special moments in Staples Center, and he added another memory Tuesday when he scored the go-ahead goal with 8:13 remaining in the third period to give the Arizona Coyotes a 3-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings.

Richardson, a former King who played on their 2012 Stanley Cup championship team, redirected a centering pass from Jordan Martinook from between the legs of Kings defenseman Brayden McNabb past goaltender Jonathan Quick.

"I played with them for five years and it's just a heavy game," Richardson said. "It's all below the dots, working it. They played it to a T the way we wanted to and we let them play that way in first and they took it to us, but then we had a little bit of composure and started making the plays and we got them on their heels a little bit."

Martin Hanzal scored his first goals since Jan. 25, goalie Mike Smith made 33 saves for his 100th win with Arizona and the Coyotes (8-6-1) swept back-to-back games in Southern California. They defeated the Anaheim Ducks 4-3 in overtime on Monday.

Arizona overcame a slow start and got contributions from less-heralded players Martinook and Tobias Rieder, who also had an assist, to improve to 6-2-1 on the road.

"We played a real disciplined road game tonight; just tried not to do too much," Arizona coach Dave Tippett said. "The first period we weren't skating and turned over the puck. As we got going, we got a little better."

Los Angeles (9-6-0) lost for the third time in 12 games and is 1-2-0 on a five-game homestand. The Kings committed 14 giveaways, including four by Alec Martinez and one by McNabb so egregious that coach Darryl Sutter demoted McNabb to the third defense pairing.

"Our d-zone was not very good tonight and that's a staple of our game," Kings captain Dustin Brown said. "When we are winning and playing well, we are not giving up chances and we're much cleaner in our own zone."

Hanzal made it 2-2 with a backhand that appeared to deflect off the stick of Martinez at 9:59 of the second. Oliver Ekman-Larsson created the loose puck with a throw-it-on-net shot.

Tyler Toffoli's 10th goal at 5:00 of the second period was a highlight of the game. He stopped Jamie McBain's shot-pass with his skate, then lifted a shot over defenseman Michael Stone and Smith from the left faceoff dot to give the Kings a 2-1 lead. It was their 10th power-play goal in the past 12 games.

Hanzal intercepted McNabb's clearing attempt and tied it 1-1 at 11:37 of the first. McNabb was behind the goal line and his pass to the right side was picked off by Hanzal, who beat Quick (22 saves) with a wrist shot from the high slot.

Hanzal missed 45 games last season with injuries.

"He's been so good for us all year," Tippett said of Hanzal, who entered the game with 13 assists but no goals. "I think that was weighing on him a little bit. To get two and get off the schneid that way, he's off and rolling now."

Brown snapped a 19-game scoring drought dating to April 2 of last season when he opened the scoring 5:54 into the game on a tap-in of a rebound from the crease.

Sutter wasn't handing out kudos.

"I hope he remembers how he did it," Sutter said. "He's got to play a power game. I'm not sure that was part of his game tonight. The goal didn't mean nothing in the end."

Arizona center Antoine Vermette returned to the lineup after missing three games with a lower-body injury.

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