Coyotes 4, Kings 0

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GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP)—As the backup goaltender to three-time All-Star Sean Burke, Brian Boucher has to maximize his chances with the Phoenix Coyotes.

Boucher did just that Wednesday night, making 21 saves to help beat the Los Angeles Kings 4-0 and lift the Coyotes to their first victory in three games at the new Glendale Arena.

“It feels good,” Boucher said about his first shutout in more than two years. “I mean, it’s equivalent to scoring a hat trick for a forward, so it’s nice to get the win, but it feels good to pitch a shutout.”

Boucher, unbeaten in his last five starts (2-0-3), was with Philadelphia when he blanked Pittsburgh on Oct. 31, 2001.

Shane Doan and Fredrik Sjostrom each had a goal and an assist, Ladislav Nagy and Ossi Vaananen also scored, and Daymond Langkow had two assists.

The Coyotes dropped their Glendale opener 3-1 to Nashville on Saturday and lost 3-2 in overtime to the New York Rangers on Monday.

“It was nice to get the first win out of the way and go on the road in a positive frame of mind,” Phoenix coach Bob Francis said.

Milan Hnilicka stopped 31 shots in his first start for the Kings, who acquired him from Atlanta for future considerations on Sept. 15 and kept him in the minors until Friday.

The Coyotes improved to 2-1-1 this season against Los Angeles, winless (0-2-4-1) in seven games. The Kings also lost to the Rangers in overtime Tuesday night.

The game was chippy, with Los Angeles’ Sean Avery and Brad Norton ejected, and Brian Savage of Phoenix benched near the end with a 10-minute misconduct penalty.

Sjostrom, a rookie right wing promoted to Phoenix’s top line this week, put a one-timer over Hnilicka’s left shoulder 8:28 into the game.

But the goalie was solid minutes later, stopping nine shots during two Phoenix power plays that included 52 seconds of five-on-three.

He couldn’t hold on in the second period, when Los Angeles spent nine straight minutes short-handed.

Nagy scored his 17th goal when he swept Jan Hrdina’s crossing pass between Hnilicka’s pads with 8:45 left in the period.

The long power play occurred when Avery put a chokehold on Phoenix’s Mike Sillinger from behind, threw him to the ground and began to punch him while Sillinger lay motionless.

“The guy broke his stick on him,” Doan said. “He cross-checked him fairly hard, and Silly went down. But punch him in the back of the head? That’s kind of … as an opposing team, you want that. It’s not hurting Silly, and we’re getting the power play.”

Avery was whistled for minor roughing and instigating, a five-minute fighting infraction and 10-minute and game misconducts—29 minutes in penalties.

Ziggy Palffy got a slashing penalty later, resulting in a five-on-three edge for Phoenix when Nagy scored.

“That type of thing can’t happen, and you have to kill a penalty for nine minutes in a 1-0 hockey game?” Kings coach Andy Murray said. “Sean can’t do that.”

The Coyotes led only 2-0 going into the third period after managing just six shots during the long advantage. But Doan scored 4:35 into the third after a pass from Langkow, and Vaananen’s goal made it 4-0 with a slap shot from the point 19 seconds later.

“We didn’t give ourselves a good chance to win with the amount of penaltieswe took,” Kings captain Mattias Norstrom said.


Hnilicka’s only other appearance for Los Angeles was Friday in relief of Cristobal Huet. … D Paul Mara appeared in his 200th game with the Coyotes. Brad Ference, another Phoenix defenseman, played in his 200th game overall. … Norton played for the first time since he cut his right forearm Sept. 30 in an exhibition game at Phoenix. He was activated off the injured list before the game. … New Coyotes RW Ivan Novoseltsev, acquired Tuesday from Florida, did not arrive in time to dress for the game. … Attendance was 18,106, abovecapacity for the third straight game.

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Goalie Team Shot Save
Milan Hnilicka LA 35 31
Brian Boucher Phi 21 21