NHL Game Summary - Phoenix at Los Angeles
(Saturday, January 20th)
Final Score: Phoenix 3, Los Angeles 2
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Travis Roche's goal with 1:39 left in the third period, sent the Phoenix Coyotes to a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center.
Josh Gratton and Ladislav Nagy got the other goals for the Coyotes, who snapped a two-game slide. Zbynek Michalek registered two assists and Mikael Tellqvist made 28 saves to collect the win.
Alexander Frolov and Anze Kopitar tallied for the Kings, who have dropped seven in a row and nine of 11 heading to the All-Star Break.
Sean Burke, in his first start since being claimed off waivers from Tampa Bay, stopped 23-of-24 shots before exiting the game 3:20 into the third period due to dehydration. Back-up Yutaka Fukufuji was saddled with the loss after giving up two goals on 11 shots in the final 15:12 of play.
"Great in someways, disappointing in others," Burke said. "I didn't hurt my hand. I was totally dehydrated. My hands were cramped. My quads were cramped and I couldn't finish."
After a scoreless second period, which saw the Kings retain their 2-1 lead, the Coyotes escaped with a win via two late scores. Nagy tied the game at 2-2 with 6:02 left in regulation, as his 15-footer trickled between Fukufuji's arm and body.
Then, with Kings forward Derek Armstrong off for hooking, Roche's left-circle blast found its way through a small open space between the young netminder's pads and into the net.
"It was great," Roche said. "I made a bad pinch on their second goal, so I was glad we could tie it and to win it like that was great."
It was a special night in downtown Los Angeles, as in a pre-game ceremony, Luc Robitaille's number 20 was raised to the rafters, the fifth player in franchise history to earn the honor.
Robitaille, a native of Montreal who was selected in the ninth round of the 1984 Draft by the Kings, enjoyed three separate stints in the City of Angels (1986-94; 1997-2001; 2003-2006), amassing 557 goals and 1,154 points in 1,077 games.
He is the Kings' all-time leading goal scorer, ranks fourth in assists, and is second only to Hall-of-Famer Marcel Dionne in total points as a King. In addition, Robitaille set the all-time league record for goals by a left wing in a career (668) and points (1,394).
The 19-year veteran took home the Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year in 1986-87, won a Stanley Cup with Detroit in 2002, and appeared in one other final, in 1993, as the Kings lost to the Montreal Canadiens in five games.
The emotion of the ceremony carried into the game for the home club, as the Kings jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period, thanks to a beautiful snapshot by Frolov 2:37 into the game, then Kopitar on a spectacular end-to-end shorthanded rush at 5:46.
Rugged forward Gratton responded to cut the deficit in half at 18:05, whacking away at a loose puck in the crease for his first of the season.
Goaltender Rogie Vachon (30), and forwards Dave Taylor (18), Wayne Gretzky (99), and Marcel Dionne (16), were the four previously honored with retired numbers...Robitaille was the 27th player in NHL history to reach the 500-goal plateau...In 1993-94 he also set records for most goals (63) and points (125) for a left-winger in a single season...It was just the Kings' second home loss to Phoenix in the last 13 games in Los Angeles...There were 16 penalties whistled in the game, nine to Phoenix.
01/21 03:02:04 ET