PHOENIX (AP)—At the time of the season when players for noncontenders are looking to impress, Steve Kelly did just that.
The 26-year-old center, who has never played more than 34 games in an NHL season, scored 1:42 into overtime as the Los Angeles Kings snapped a seven-game winless streak by beating the Phoenix Coyotes 5-4 Monday night.
“I’ve been in the minors most of the year, and to get up here and at least get a goal and be a game-winner and get some confidence is nice,” Kelly said. “I mean, this is where you want to be, so it’s nice when you can contribute.”
The goal was Kelly’s second in 13 games with the Kings, his fourth team since Edmonton drafted him in the first round in 1995.
The Coyotes rallied from a two-goal deficit in the third period to force the extra session, but were victimized by loose goaltending for a third straight game. Phoenix has been outscored 16-6 in that span.
“This game is all about getting wins, and we haven’t had very many lately,” coach Andy Murray said.
But rookie Cristobal Huet of Los Angeles made 29 saves to remain unbeaten in three starts (2-0-1) and send the Coyotes to their season-high sixth straight loss, the first in overtime.
Johnson scored twice in the third period.
He had a power-play goal with 2:23 left to complete the Phoenix comeback. Johnson tied it at 2 just 1:04 into the third before Palffy and Laperriere opened a 4-2 lead with 9:43 to go in regulation.
The Coyotes closed in when Ranheim scored with 5:19 left, setting the stage for Johnson to tie it again with a wrist shot from Huet’s left after a pass from Shane Doan.
“You have to look at the positive,” defenseman Todd Simpson said. “The guys fought really hard to come back.”
Huet had 21 saves to beat the Capitals 3-1 in the Kings’ previous win, and made 30 the next night in a 0-0 tie with Carolina.
But he went only 1:58 into this game before Mara scored, flicking a wrist shot past his glove side.
Palffy scored his 34th goal with 1:26 remaining in the first period, and Belanger shot the Kings to a 2-1 lead with 12 seconds left after Boucher blundered by chasing the puck to his left and firing a clearing pass behind the net.
Laperriere intercepted and got the puck to Belanger, who beat the lunging goalie with a wrist shot from the slot.
“It’s our division, so we try to win every game,” Palffy said. “You know, with the rivalry we had to play smart hockey.”
Phoenix got Hrdina from Pittsburgh in a March 11 trade, but he stayed on the injured list from Feb. 25 until this week because of tendinitis in a hip flexor.
“It was a little disappointing,” he said. “I felt like I haven’t played for five weeks. The puck was bouncing on my stick all the time, and I wasobviously rusty.”
Palffy has 37 points in 29 games. … Johnson, who took over the team lead with 23 goals, has 99 in his career. … Phoenix D Danny Markov had an assist to reach 100 points. … Coyotes managing partner Wayne Gretzky announced before the game that he and his wife named their fifth child EmmaMarie. She was born Friday.