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Doughty's first of season helps Kings drop Coyotes

by Curtis Zupke

LOS ANGELES – The scoring drought of the Phoenix Coyotes reached several proportions Tuesday.

Historic. Epic.

The Los Angeles Kings added ironic to the mix.

Minutes after Drew Doughty scored his first goal this season, Phoenix etched a dubious donut in club history when it set a franchise-record scoreless streak. And minutes after Shane Doan ended that slump at 245 minutes, 33 seconds, Jarret Stoll added the game-winner in a 3-2 victory at Staples Center.

Stoll and unlikely scorers Doughty and Dustin Penner helped back up Jonathan Bernier's career-high 40-saves as L.A. completed the back-to-back home sweep.

Doughty, a former Norris Trophy finalist, had let on that his 31-game regular-season slump wasn't concerning him, but the truth came out in the locker room.

"Obviously I was worried," said Doughty, who put six shots on goal. "I was just saying that. It was good to get that one off my back. I'm hoping I can get on a little roll. I'm kind of a streaky scorer, so I'm hoping that kind of continues."

It wasn't L.A.'s cleanest win on this dominant homestand, as it had allowed a season-high 42 shots and saw big pushes by the Coyotes at the start of the first and third periods. Doan scored with 42 seconds left to make it 3-2, but L.A. held them off with Mike Smith pulled for an extra attacker.

"We knew they were going to be hungry, even from the first puck drop," Doughty said. "We were pretty [poor] at the start of that third period. Our 5-on-5 play was pretty bad. If it wasn't for our special teams and our goaltending tonight, we wouldn't have won the game."

The Coyotes were in danger of getting shut out for the fourth straight game until Doan tipped Keith Yandle's long wrist shot during 4-on-4 play at 11:28 of the third. Stoll scored on the power play goal at 13:46.

Phoenix eclipsed the club record streak of 226 minutes, 21 seconds set from 1998. Radim Vrbata returned from a 14-game absence, but the Coyotes went 0-for-3 on the power play. Doan, who went after Jake Muzzin after an accidental collision, spoke about his team's state after they threw 42 shots on goal in another loss.

"Obviously everybody in this room is frustrated and disappointed and desperate," Doan said. "We have to start with a desperate game, play a full game as desperate as we can. There was a lot of good things in the game, and we've got to take the positives out of it and keep going. We could have just as easily won that game, and we didn't."

The weight off Doughty's back manifested itself with a huge smile after he ripped a slap shot from the left circle at 6:28 of the second. Doughty's shot appeared to have been tipped by Tyler Toffoli, but no one was sweating the details.

Doughty is seeing a lot of ice time this season and his partner, Muzzin, has taken scoring pressure off him. Coach Darryl Sutter praised Doughty at the morning skate and said he can "pick out three or four mistakes all year – literally" from Doughty.

Doughty tied Garry Galley for seventh all-time among franchise defensemen with 44 goals.

"Obviously you get that pressure when you don't score for a while, it sticks in your mind," said Bernier, 7-0 with a 1.63 goals-against average in eight starts. "But he's been probably our best D so far on the season. It's not like he was playing horrible. He's been making some plays, it's just the puck wasn't going in. It did tonight."

Penner's second goal this season ended an 11-game drought when he slipped behind the Phoenix defense to tap in Justin Williams' perfect pass from behind the goal line at 14:38 of the first.

L.A. was otherwise skating uphill at the start because Phoenix looked like a team ready to wipe the bagel off its slate with 15 shots in the first 13 minutes. But it couldn't get a shot on goal in the final six minutes, even though it had a power play.

"Our guys deserved to win tonight," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. "We played harder than they did. We had more chances. Unfortunately, we had a couple of calls that went against us and they dictated the game. We had lots of push in our game tonight. We missed far too many opportunities. This was a game that probably shouldn't have been close."

Sutter's 451st win tied brother Brian for 22nd place on the all-time career coaching list.

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