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Kopitar's goal lifts Kings past Coyotes in OT

by Jerry Brown

GLENDALE, Ariz.-- The Los Angeles Kings are the best team in the NHL at rallying from third-period deficits and did it again in a 4-3 overtime win against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River on Saturday.

The Kings scored three times in the first 6:23 of the third period to erase a 1-0 deficit, before the Coyotes tied the game 3-3, but Anze Kopitar won it 36 seconds into overtime.

The Kings (21-11-2) have rallied to win five times when trailing after two periods this season. But goals by Drew Doughty, Tanner Pearson and Dustin Brown in the third weren't enough when the Coyotes used a major penalty on Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin to scored twice and force overtime.

In overtime, Kopitar powered around Arizona's Viktor Tikhonov, maneuver around sprawling goalie Louis Domingue and stuff a backhander into end empty net to get a four-game road trip through the Pacific Division off to a strong start.

"I saw (Tikhonov) stumble just a little bit and that gave me a bit of a head start," Kopitar said. "I saw the goalie to poke check and I wanted to make sure I got it around him. After that, I knew there would be some open net there. I just wanted to make sure I put it in."

Kopitar's 10th goal gave the Kings their first win in three games against the Coyotes this season, who had won seven of their first eight games within the Pacific Division. Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored twice for the Coyotes (16-15-2), tying the game 3-3 with 3:23 left in regulation.

"It was just a power move," Kings captain Dustin Brown said. "I think a lot of guys have that move but Kope has the patience few players have to wait it out."

The Kings lost center Jeff Carter early in the first period with an upper body injury. He did not return and likely will not travel with the team to play the Vancouver Canucks on Monday. Carter went back to Los Angeles for further evaluation.

Jonathan Quick made 23 saves for Los Angeles. Louis Domingue made 29 save for Arizona.

The game had 16 penalties, 13 power-play chances and five power-play goals – three for the Coyotes and two for the Kings.

The Kings led 3-1 when defenseman Jake Muzzin took a five-minute major and match penalty for a hit to the head of Arizona center Boyd Gordon at 13:20 of the third period. Gordon left the game and did not return. He is not expected to play Sunday when the Coyotes play against the Colorado Avalanche in Denver.

It became a 5-on-3 advantage for Arizona when Alec Martinez shot the puck over the glass for a delay of game and Arizona capitalized. Antoine Vermette deflected home a Michael Stone at 16:07 to make it a 3-2 game and Ekman-Larson followed 30 seconds later with a wrist shot through traffic to tie the game.

"We battled back there and got a point out of it but we have to play better in the third period. We played them hard in the first and second and then we got away from that," Ekman-Larsson said. "We've been struggling on the power play so it was nice to get a couple tonight and have it come up big. Hopefully we can feed off that going forward."

The Coyotes had three power-play opportunities in the first period and capitalized on the first of two Milan Lucic penalties to take a 1-0 lead.

Ekman-Larsson took Mikkel Boedker's pass in the high point and waited for Shane Doan to set a screen in the slot. Quick wasn't able to track the wrist shot which found the far corner at 9:43.

It stayed that way until, with Brad Richardson in the box for a delay of game penalty, Martinez found Doughty at the left face-off dot with a cross-ice pass and Doughty wound up for a shot that Domingue got a piece of but couldn't stop at 37 seconds. It was the third of six consecutive minor penalties call against the Coyotes.

Pearson scored at 4:17 off a passing play from Marian Gaborik to give the Kings a 2-1 lead and Brown made it 3-1 after Nicklas Grossman took a slashing penalty for Arizona, taking a feed from Nick Shore to beat Domingue for his third goal of the year at 6:23.

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