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Smith makes 41 stops to lead Coyotes past Kings

by Jerry Brown /

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Five days after the Phoenix Coyotes gave up seven goals in a one-sided loss to the Los Angeles Kings in L.A., goalie Mike Smith knew it was important to answer with a better effort in rematch Tuesday with their Pacific Division rivals.

Smith led the way, making 24 of his 41 saves in the first two periods to keep the game scoreless before Derek Morris and Shane Doan scored goals 1:25 apart late in the second period as the injury-plagued Coyotes beat the Kings 3-1 at Arena on Tuesday night.

Smith allowed four first-period goals in a 7-4 loss at Los Angeles on Oct. 24 and was pulled after 20 minutes. This time, he came within 3:21 of his first shutout of the season before Jarret Stoll hammered a dancing puck under his blocker for a power-play goal.

"When you get shellacked like we did in L.A., it was nice to play them again so soon to get it back," Smith said. "To respond the way we did was good to see. Our first period was exceptional and then they came at us pretty hard. But we held our own pretty well."

Kyle Chipchura had an assist and a spirited fight with former Coyotes forward Daniel Carcillo before capping his night by punching home a David Moss feed 5:38 into the third period to ice the win. The victory moved the Coyotes to 8-3-2, their best start since the 2000-01 season, and 5-0-1 on home ice. They ended a run of four straight Pacific Division games with three wins.

Playing without forwards Martin Hanzal, Lauri Korpikoski and Jeff Halpern and defenseman Rostislav Klesla, the Coyotes got a strong effort from the patchwork line of Chipchura, Moss (one assist), and 2011 Hobey Baker Award winner Andy Miele, who had two assists for the first points of his NHL career.

"It took me three years to get my first point up here," said Miele, who had played eight games without hitting the scoresheet, "so it's pretty exciting and it's great to be able to help keep the team rolling here."

Miele called his father in China after the game to give him the good news.

Chipchura was minus-7 coming into the game, but Phoenix coach Dave Tippett never lost faith in his veteran center.

"It seemed like lately every time he was stepping on the ice there was a minus and it wasn't his fault," Tippett said. "You knew he was chewing on that, but he cares so much and works so hard. I've been in that position before and it gets you down a little bit. He was looking to have an impact tonight and boy did he ever."

The Coyotes allowed 39 goals in their first 12 games and the Kings had plenty of chances, but Tippett felt Tuesday was a step forward for the defense. "There were lots of shots at the net, but I thought we just competed harder," he said. "We were harder in front of our net; we got an 'A' game from Smitty and some timely scoring. It was a good two points."

Smith was especially good in the second period, when the Kings made their bid to score first with wave after wave of pressure. He made big saves on Carcillo, Drew Doughty and Trevor Lewis before the Coyotes finally broke through.

Morris put a wrist shot into traffic that ping-ponged off Doughty and defense partner Robyn Regehr before skidding just out of the reach of goalie Ben Scrivens and into the net at 18:19. It was the third goal and eighth point of the season for the 35-year-old Morris, who had two goals and 22 points thep ast two seasons combined.

Justin Williams was penalized for roughing 31 seconds after Morris' goal, and the Coyotes doubled their lead when Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who had a goal disallowed in the first period, put a shot into the slot that Doan deflected around Scrivens with 5.9 seconds to play. It was Doan's 100th career power-play goal and his 36th goal in 94 career games against the Kings.

"Our top players [Mike Richards, Jeff Cater and Matt Frattin] got scored on, didn't kill the penalty and took the penalty with less than a couple left in the second period," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. "That usually results in a loss."

Scrivens, who had a 20-save shutout against the Florida Panthers on Oct. 13 in his only other start with the Kings, played well again, making 17 of his 30 saves in a feisty first period that had a little bit of everything except a goal.

The teams combined for 26 shots, 10 penalties, six power plays and one disallowed goal, which came when Ekman-Larsson's bomb from the point was waved off because teammate Antoine Vermette was called for pushing Doughty into Scrivens.

"I felt I played well in the first and I tried to keep the boys in it through a couple of tough penalty kills," Scrivens said. "But overall this League is about winning. They did a good job of getting guys in front."

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