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Smith makes 41 saves as Coyotes stop Kings

The SportsXchange

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Phoenix Coyotes took advantage of their first opportunity to get even with the Los Angeles Kings, and they needed less than a week to do it.

Derek Morris and Shane Doan scored in the final two minutes of the second period, and Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith came within a late power-play goal of his 25th career shutout in the Coyotes' 3-1 victory at Jobing.com Arena on Tuesday.

Five days earlier, the Kings posted a season-high goal total in a 7-4 win over Phoenix.

"You get shellacked like we did in L.A., I think it's nice to play them so soon after we did that so we can kind of get it back. To respond like we did was nice to see," Smith said.

Smith stopped 41 shots Tuesday. Last Thursday, he was pulled after giving up four goals in the first period, when the Kings blew a four-goal lead but scored the final three goals for the victory.

"We talked about having a better start, obviously," Smith said. "In L.A., our start was not even close to where it needed to be against a good hockey team. I thought we did a good job from the drop of the puck to respond to a tough loss in the last game."

Morris broke a scoreless tie with his third goal of the season on a 45-foot wrist shot that got past Ben Scrivens with 1:41 remaining in the second period. The assists went to Kyle Chipchura and rookie center Andy Miele, who finished with two assists for his first NHL points.

After a two-minute roughing penalty to Justin Williams with 1:10 left in the period, Doan scored his third goal on a slap shot from the point with six seconds remaining.

Chipchura scored his second goal of the season early in the third period, boosting the lead to 3-0.

"(The Kings) and a couple of other teams are looked at as the cream of the crop, and we want to belong with teams like this," Chipchura said. "To be up there with them, you have to win your head-to-head matches. (To beat) teams like this, it's going to be a grinding-type game. I thought we did that tonight."

The Coyotes (8-3-2) extended their best start in 13 years. They earned at least a point in nine of their last 10 games, and with 18 points, they have their highest total after 13 games since the 2000-01 team had 21. Phoenix is 5-0-1 at home.

Smith is 10-4-1 with a 2.08 goals-against-average in 16 regular-season games against the Kings in his career. His season goals-against-average was 3.17 entering the game, ranked 32nd in the league.

"We competed like we are supposed to and we got an 'A' game from Smitty and some timely scoring. It is a good two points," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said.

Los Angeles center Jarret Stoll scored his first goal of the season to break Smith's shutout with 3:21 remaining.

Scrivens made 30 saves in his second start and first loss of the season in place of Jonathan Quick. The backup was in net as the Kings prepare for the final game in a stretch of three games in four nights, when they play host to the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday.

"That's how you score goals in this league, throwing pucks to the net and getting bodies there," Scrivens said. "They did a good job of getting guys in front."

The Kings (8-5-0) won four of their previous five and seven of their previous nine games. They committed eight penalties Tuesday but held the Coyotes' power play to a 1-for-5 success rate.

"We didn't kill the one we had to," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said of Williams' penalty late in the second period. "There was more rhythm in the second period. Mike Smith made some pretty good saves."

NOTES: C Martin Hanzal, the Coyotes' second-leading scorer with 11 points (five goals), served the first game of a two-game suspension. Hanzal was suspended for charging Edmonton Oilers D Jeff Petry in the first period of the Coyotes' 5-4 victory Saturday. Hanzal, who was suspended for one game last season, will lose $75,609.76 in salary. ... The Kings have lost no games to injury this season, part of the reason for their hot start. ... The Coyotes recalled RW Jordan Szwarz and Miele from AHL Portland the past two days. Szwarz had three goals and two assists in six games with Portland, and Miele had five goals and three assists in six games. F Brandon Yip was returned to Portland. He had two assists in two games for the Coyotes this season. ... After playing six of their first eight games on the road, the Kings are midway through a stretch in which they play eight of nine at home. They follow that with a four-game, six-day trip to Buffalo and the metro New York City teams.
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