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NHL Game Summary - Phoenix at Los Angeles
(Thursday, December 10th)
Final Score: Los Angeles 3, Phoenix 2 (SO)
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Justin Williams scored the game-winner in the eighth round of the shootout, as the Los Angeles Kings edged the Phoenix Coyotes, 3-2, in a battle between two of the hottest teams in the Western Conference at the Staples Center.
The shootout was tied at three after each team scored in the second, fifth, and seventh rounds. Williams fired a backhander the snuck under the arm of Ilya Bryzgalov and into the net. Jonathan Quick made a glove save on a Scottie Upshall wrister to seal the victory for Los Angeles, which became the first team in the Western Conference this season to reach 20 wins.
Jack Johnson had a goal and an assist for the Kings, who have won three in a row and six of seven overall. Oscar Moller scored his first goal of the year for Los Angeles, which got 29 saves from Quick.
"It was a big two points. They are right there in our division, three or four points behind us, and it's good to beat them and get that extra point. We have been winning some games of late so we just have to keep things going and continue the momentum," said Quick.
Upshall and Radim Vrbata scored for the Coyotes, who had a five-game winning streak snapped. Bryzgalov turned aside 26-of-28 shots in defeat.
Vrbata's power-play goal at the 3:12 mark of the third tied the tilt at 2-2. Zbynek Michalek's slapper from the left point set up a rebound in front for Martin Hanzal, who chipped the disc behind Quick. Vrbata was there to tip the puck into the net.
Neither team scored the rest of the way to send the contest into overtime.
Quick made four saves in OT and Bryzgalov stopped two shots to send the contest into a shootout.
The Kings drew first blood at the 4:11 mark of the first period. Wayne Simmonds charged down the right side of the ice and made his way behind the Phoenix net. Simmonds then slid a pass in front to Moller, whose wrister beat Bryzgalov.
Johnson lit the lamp with a slapper from the point with 6:23 left to give Los Angeles a 2-0 edge.
The Coyotes scored with 3:05 remaining to cut the deficit to one. Matthew Lombardi slid a cross-ice pass to Upshall, whose one-timer got past Quick.
Quick made nine saves in a scoreless second, while Bryzgalov stopped seven shots.
"You hate to get behind like that, but we battled back hard and ended up getting the equalizer in the third. We'll take the point, but I think there were two [points] to be had tonight. There were some decent chances but I thought we could execute a lot better in situations. The chances we were giving away were a lot of unforced errors on our part. In the end, we come in and recognize we can do things a little bit better, take a point and move on," said Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett.
The eight rounds was the longest shootout in Kings history (previous high was seven)...Los Angeles is 16-3-3 when scoring first and 14-0-0 when leading after two periods... The Kings 43 points is tied for the best 33-game start in franchise history (1988-89 club also had 39 pts: 21-11-1)...Phoenix defenseman Ed Jovanovski served the first contest of a two-game suspension for delivering a forearm to the head of Minnesota's Andrew Ebbett on Monday.
12/11 01:58:22 ET
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