Los Angels Kings coach Andy Murray won’t tolerate shaky goaltending. Roman Cechmanek found that out the hard way in his last start.
Cechmanek and the Kings hope to halt a season-high three-game losing streak when they host the slumping Phoenix Coyotes at Staples Center.
Cechmanek, acquired from Philadelphia in May for a 2004 second-round pick, lasted just 28 minutes in Thursday’s 3-1 loss to Vancouver, surrendering two goals on seven shots before Murray pulled him in favor of backup Cristobal Huet.
Murray didn’t mince words when asked why the Kings lost their third straight.
“Our goalie let some goals in that were savable,” he said. “I think our players were expecting us to do something at that point.”
Cechmanek, who was let go by the Flyers for his lack of consistency in the postseason, didn’t shy away from the blame.
“It was my fault. I played poor tonight. I didn’t help,” he said. “My teammates played a great game and I have to be better.”
Cechmanek may get that opportunity as the Kings try to avert their fifth loss in six games on this extended homestand.
Los Angeles, which has the worst penalty-kiling unit in the league, outshot Vancouver 38-15 on Thursday, and did not allow a goal with the man advantage after yielding four in its previous two games.
The Coyotes are winless in their last seven games (0-4-3) since beginning the season with three straight wins. On Friday, Ladislav Nagy’s power-play goal was the lone bright spot in Phoenix’s 4-1 loss to Vancouver.
Sean Burke stopped 27 shots for the Coyotes, who had skated to three straight ties before losing to the Canucks.
Phoenix has not won since a 2-1 victory at Florida on Oct. 15.
STANDINGS (through Oct. 30): Coyotes - 9 points, 3rd place, 3 PB, Pacific Division. Kings - 8 points, 4th place, 4 PB, Pacific Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Coyotes - Nagy, 5 goals; Paul Mara, 8 assists; Shane Doan, 10 points; Cale Hulse, 31 PIM. Kings - Luc Robitaille, Lubomir Visnovsky, Derek Armstrong, Trent Klatt and Eric Belanger, 3 goals; Zigmund Palffy, 10 assists and 12 points; Kip Brennan, 22 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 30): Coyotes - Power play: 17.5 percent (7 for 40), 11th in NHL. Penalty killing: 86.7 percent (52 for 60), tied for 8th. Kings - Power play: 15.3 percent (9 for 59), tied for 15th. Penalty killing: 71.4 percent (30 for 42), 30th.
GOALTENDERS: Coyotes - Burke (3-3-1, 1 SO, 2.45 GAA); Zac Bierk (0-0-2, 0, 2.77). Kings - Cechmanek (3-4-0, 1, 2.64); Huet (1-1-0, 1, 2.03).
2002-03 SEASON SERIES: Los Angeles, 4-1.
LAST MEETING: March 31; Kings, 5-4 (OT). Steve Kelly scored 1:42 into overtime as the Kings pulled out the win after squandering a two-goal lead in the third period.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Coyotes - 2-1-2-0 on the road; Kings - 2-4-0-0 at home.