Kings beat Coyotes for first win of seasonBy Jonathan Dalton, The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Sat, Jan 26, 2013 11:50 PM EST
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Scoring his first two goals was nice for Anze Kopitar. But getting the Los Angeles Kings' first win of the season was even sweeter. "You definitely think about it," Kopitar said after the Kings' 4-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday night. "The bottom line is we got the two points and that's what matters." Jeff Carter and Jake Muzzin also scored for the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings (1-2-1), who despite the win still are off to their slowest start since dropping five of their first six games in 2007-08. Though Los Angeles' four goals matched its season total through three games and eight Kings players scored, coach Darryl Sutter wasn't ready to declare his team's offensive troubles past. "We need some more," Sutter said. "Eight (points) isn't going to win you that many games. We've got some work to do." Mikkel Boedker and Shane Doan scored for the Coyotes (1-4-0), who have lost two straight. "We haven't been good enough," Doan said. "We are just average. We have to find ways to be better in every single area and it starts in shutting down our own zone. We have to find ways to win games and not just come close." After a scoreless first period, Kopitar gave the Kings a 1-0 lead 64 seconds into the second period on a forehand flip from just inside the hashes of the right faceoff circle. Boedker tied the score 1-1 at 3:57. Jamie Quick stopped Oliver Ekman-Larsson's shot from the point, but the rebound hit Boedker, standing just outside the left post, and fell from his thigh onto his stick for the easy goal. But Kopitar and Los Angeles answered quickly. Kopitar sent Justin Williams behind the Coyotes defense with a long pass, then took a return drop pass in the low crease and fired into an open right side of the net. Carter extended it to 3-1 at 11:33 of the period, sending home a long rebound after Jason LaBarbera stopped an initial shot by Simon Gagne. "Our goal scorers scored," Sutter said. "That was the difference in the game." Doan again made it a one-goal game 22 seconds into the third period on a hard shot from the inside edge of the right faceoff circle. But Muzzen took advantage of a screen by Carter and beat LaBarbera with a soft shot from the top of the left circle for his first career goal and a 4-2 lead. "I never saw it go in," Muzzen said. "When the guys came up to me, I was kinda laughing because it was kind of a hope wrister." Los Angeles benefited from a questionable call with 39.6 seconds remaining, when play was blown dead by referee Tim Peel after the puck had slipped through Quick's pads and was trickling toward the goal. An apparent Coyotes goal in the second period was disallowed when David Moss was blocked into Quick. "That's the breaks we're getting right now and we've got to overcome it," said Coyotes coach Dave Tippett. "Adversity is hitting us right in the face and we can either let it beat us up or get after it." NOTES: Anze Kopitar posted his first regular-season multi-goal game since Oct. 8, 2011, against Buffalo. Kopitar scored twice in Game 2 of the Kings' second-round playoff series sweep against St. Louis. ... Simon Gagne returned to the lineup for the first time since the season opener. Gagne logged 16:40 of ice team in Los Angeles' opener but was a healthy scratch the past two games. ... With the Kings' win, Calgary is the last Western Conference team without a win. ... Coyotes G Mike Smith missed his second full game with a lower-body injury. ... Phoenix had led in all three of its previous losses. ... The Kings have yet to score a power-play goal this season. Phoenix killed off a 5-on-3 power play in the first period despite the first unit spending the first 81 seconds on the ice and with LW Ben Gordon without his stick for the final minute of that stretch.
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