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Domi scores in debut, Coyotes defeat Kings

by Curtis Zupke / NHL.com

LOS ANGELES -- Max Domi and the Arizona Coyotes began a new chapter with a 4-1 win against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Friday.

Domi had a goal and an assist in his NHL debut, and goalie Mike Smith made 40 saves in Arizona's season-opener.

"It was a lot of fun," Domi said. "It was tough to get a smile off my face that whole 60 minutes. But it's awful nice to get the win and start the season off the right way."

Domi, 20, the 12th player taken in the 2013 NHL Draft and the son of former NHL player Tie Domi, beat Kings goalie Jonathan Quick to the glove side with a wrist shot at 4:43 of the second period that gave Arizona a 3-0 lead. Kings rookie Jordan Weal got knocked off the puck and Connor Murphy set up Domi for his first goal.

Teammate Steve Downie retrieved the puck for Domi, and family members were later seen in the arena corridors taking pictures with the puck.

"It was pretty special, and my whole family's here, too, so to share that with them is even better," Domi said.

Tobias Rieder made it 4-0 with a wrist shot from the left circle at 6:36 of the second after the Kings again could not get the puck out of their zone. Smith made 14 saves in the third period, which Arizona coach Dave Tippett said was their best.

Tippett broke into a smile when asked about Domi.

"I'm so happy for him," Tippett said. "He's waited for this game for a long time, and to come out and play as well as he did, it was really nice to see."

The Coyotes officially turned the page on their second-worst season (24-50-8) since the franchise moved to Arizona in 1996, but Tippett didn't want to look back when asked about Smith having a much better start than the six goals allowed in last season's opener.

"That was a much different start than last year, that's for sure," Tippett said. "That's the last time we want to talk about last year."

Arizona scored four goals on its first 10 shots on an unusually off-night for Quick, who received some sarcastic cheers when he gloved a harmless shot midway through the game. He finished with 18 saves.

"He didn't play very well tonight, did he?" Kings coach Darryl Sutter said.

The Kings were coming off a disappointing 5-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks in their opener Wednesday and have been outscored 9-2 in their first two games. Tyler Toffoli scored shorthanded at 19:03 of the second for the Kings' goal.

Captain Dustin Brown said the Kings are committing turnovers and opposition is capitalizing.

"I think it's bringing more [urgency] to it at this point," Brown said. "We know what we have to do. Everyone understands we had a lot of good things happen in and around the net offensively … it's not like we're sitting here not knowing. We're talking about it and trying to clean it up."

Domi got his first NHL point in the first period when he fed Oliver Ekman-Larsson for a one-timer that beat Quick five-hole at 19:12, just after an Arizona power play expired. Ekman-Larsson was left unguarded, and Domi's pass was facilitated by Martin Hanzal's excellent work to keep the puck in.

Smith likes what Domi injects into their roster.

"You can feel the young blood taking over this League," Smith said. "It's nice to implement some of them in our lineup and get some big goals and points from them and some energy for the older goats on the team."

Zbynek Michalek's put-it-on-the net wrist shot near the boards was deflected by the Kings' Nick Shore past Quick 2:00 into the game.

Weal also made his NHL debut.

The Coyotes play their home opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. The Kings are off until the Vancouver Canucks come to Staples Center on Tuesday.

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