NHL Game Summary - Phoenix at Los Angeles
(Saturday, October 3rd)
Final Score: Phoenix 6, Los Angeles 3
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Radim Vrbata scored twice as the Phoenix Coyotes took a 6-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings in the season-opener for both teams.
Scottie Upshall, Matthew Lombardi, Robert Lang and Daniel Winnik also scored for the Coyotes in the debut of head coach Dave Tippett, who took over for Wayne Gretzky in late September.
Phoenix's win starts a new season for a team that has faced near-constant turmoil since owner Jerry Moyes filed for Chapter 11 back in May.
"It's just one game," Tippett said. "We have a lot of work to do. Tonight it's a good feeling for those players, but the thing about this league is you have to step up for the next one."
Ilya Bryzgalov made 30 saves for the Coyotes, who finished last season 36-39-7, missing the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season.
Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty each had a goal and assist for the Kings, who are coming off a 34-37-11 campaign. Jonathan Quick gave up all six goals on 30 shots.
"It was definitely a relief and in one way it's nice just to get the first one out of the way," Kopitar said. "But it wasn't enough and we just got to do better in the next game."
The Coyotes jumped in front with two first-period goals. Vrbata scored a power-play tally about 5 1/2 minutes in, and Lombardi lit the lamp with 2:12 left.
Winnik's goal 8:22 into the second made it a 3-0 game, and LA couldn't overcome the deficit.
Kopitar's power-play goal midway through the second got the Kings on the board, but Vrbata countered minutes later.
Alexander Frolov then made it a 4-2 game with a score on the man-advantage in the final minute of the second, but just 31 seconds into the third, Upshall lit the lamp to push the Coyotes' lead back to three.
Lang scored at 8:25, and Doughty added a power-play marker at 11:56.
Ryan Smyth had two assists for LA...The Kings host San Jose on Tuesday...The Coyotes face the Penguins in Pittsburgh on Wednesday.
10/04 02:27:12 ET