NHL Game Summary - Phoenix at Los Angeles
(Tuesday, March 9th)
Final Score: Los Angeles 3, Phoenix 2
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Luc Robitaille's 650th career goal with 3:10 remaining in regulation lifted the Los Angeles Kings to a 3-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in the opener of a home-and-home set at the Staples Center.
Derek Armstrong posted a goal and an assist for the Kings, who halted their three-game winless skid (1-2-1). Alexander Frolov added a goal in the victory, while Cristobal Huet turned aside 17 shots for Los Angeles.
The Kings remained in an eighth-place tie for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with the St. Louis Blues, who edged the Islanders in overtime on Tuesday.
Mike Comrie and Shane Doan scored for the Coyotes, who are now winless in nine straight (0-5-2-2). Recently-acquired goaltender Brent Johnson made his second consecutive start and allowed three goals on 37 shots in the loss.
"I thought the guys battled extremely hard," Phoenix head coach Rick Bowness said. "We fell behind, but we got ourselves back in the hockey game and we had our chances, especially in the third period."
Prior to Tuesday afternoon's NHL trade deadline, both teams made transactions.
On Monday, the Kings acquired forward Anson Carter from the Washington Capitals for forward Jared Aulin. Earlier Tuesday, Los Angeles dealt forward Kip Brennan to Atlanta and obtained forward Jeff Cowan in return.
Meanwhile, Phoenix parted ways with veteran center Chris Gratton and defenseman Ossi Vaananen. Both were shipped to the Colorado Avalanche for defensemen Derek Morris, Keith Ballard and a draft pick. The Coyotes also sent forward Brian Savage to the St. Louis Blues for future considerations.
After the Coyotes rallied from a two-goal deficit late in the second period, the score remained 2-2 throughout most of the final frame. Then, as regulation wound down, the Kings finally broke the tie.
A dump in by Armstrong took a strange hop and kicked behind the net, where Trent Klatt picked up the puck and skated along the left half-wall. Klatt then slid a pass into the high slot for Robitaille, who ripped a one-timer through Johnson's five-hole at 16:50 for a 3-2 LA edge.
Phoenix pulled its goaltender in the final minute, but could not sustain any serious pressure as the Kings held on for the victory.
The lone goal of the opening period staked the Kings to a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes of play. A great lead pass off the boards by Tim Gleason found the stick of Armstrong, who hustled in on a breakaway and deposited his 13th goal of the season at the 10:50 mark.
"You never want to give up that first goal in a game," Morris said. "But the Kings capitalized on an opportunity."
Midway through the second period, Frolov gave the Kings a two-goal edge with a great individual effort. He took control of the puck and skated down the left- wing. With Phoenix defenseman Bryan Helmer in front of him, Frolov made an nice deke move to the outside, muscled his way around Helmer and broke in alone before beating Johnson up high to the far side at 11:36.
A lucky bounce cut the visitors' deficit in half with 4:57 remaining in the middle period. Comrie attempted a cross-ice pass from the outside of the left circle, but the puck deflected off the skate of Kings' defenseman Aaron Miller and past a surprised Huet.
Later in the period, Phoenix needed just six seconds to convert on a power- play. With Jaroslav Modry off for a cross-checking minor, Paul Mara released a wrister from the point before Doan's perfectly-timed swinging deflection near the left post slid under Huet's pads. Doan's 23rd marker with 2:37 remaining sent the teams into the second intermission tied 2-2.
The teams will meet again Wednesday night in suburban Phoenix...Los Angeles improved to 4-1-1 in its last six home games...Phoenix still does not have a victory under head coach Rick Bowness (0-4-1-2)... Phoenix is 0-6-4 in its last 10 trips to LA...Robitaille's goal was his 19th of the season...The Coyotes finished 1-for-3 on the power play, while the Kings were 0-for-4 with the man advantage...Morris notched an assist in his first game as a Coyote.
03/10 02:20:43 ET