Kings 3, Coyotes 2

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LOS ANGELES (AP)—The Los Angeles Kings have lost count of how many times Luc Robitaille has come to their rescue.

Robitaille scored his 650th goal with 3:10 remaining to put Los Angeles in front, and the Kings extended the Phoenix Coyotes’ winless streak to nine games with a 3-2 victory Tuesday night.

Phoenix goaltender Brent Johnson, who made his Coyotes debut on Sunday in a 1-1 tie with Minnesota and stopped 30 shots, had 35 saves against Los Angeles. But Robitaille beat him through the pads with a one-timer from 35-feet in the slot.

Robitaille became the 10th player in NHL history with at least 650 goals, and the first left wing to do it.

“I wish I knew. I would have kept the puck. I feel so stupid now,” said Robitaille, whose 1,363 points are just six shy of Johnny Bucyk’s league record for left wings.

Derek Armstrong had a goal and an assist, Alexander Frolov also scored and Cristobal Huet made 19 saves for the Kings, who remained tied with St. Louis for the final Western Conference playoff spot.

Mike Comrie and Shane Doan scored less than 2 1/2 minutes apart in the second period to erase a two-goal deficit. Krystofer Kolanos nearly broke the tie with 8:58 left in the game, but his 30-foot shot from the right circle hit the far post.

Right wing Anson Carter made his Kings debut following Monday’s trade from Washington. Los Angeles is Carter’s fifth NHL team and third this season, including the New York Rangers. Playing on a line with center Esa Pirnes and left wing Martin Straka, Carter had one shot on net in more than 15 1/2 minutes of ice time and also was used on the power play.

“I didn’t have my legs under me, that’s for sure,” Carter said. “I think the lack of rest showed. I just tried to play smart. Andy’s a really well-prepared coach and the team is well-prepared out there, so I didn’t want to embarrass myself the first time out.”

Los Angeles defenseman Aaron Miller played his first game since Dec. 10, after missing the previous 39 games because of a pinched nerve in his neck. The injury-plagued Miller also sat out Los Angeles’ first eight games with a broken left wrist, and he missed 33 games last season.

“It’s great to have Aaron back in the lineup,” coach Andy Murray said. “He’s obviously a force on the blue line, and his game should only get better with practice.”

The Coyotes are 0-5-2-2 in their last nine games, and have only two victories in their last 21 contests—including an 0-4-1-2 mark since Rick Bowness replaced Bob Francis as head coach.

“We started out OK, but then we let up for about 15 or 20 minutes at the end of the first period and the beginning of the second period before we got it going again,” Doan said. “We have to play hard for 60 minutes.”

Trailing 2-0, Phoenix got on the board at 15:03 of the second period with a fluke goal. Comrie’s attempted centering pass toward Jeff Taffe from the left circle caromed off Miller’s right skate and past Huet, who cheated toward the far post expecting Taffe to get the puck.

Doan tied it with his 23rd goal, redirecting Paul Mara’s shot from the left point under Huet’s right leg on the power play.

“We were really on them, but then I buried one in their net off my foot and then they got a good tip on the power play, so it was 2-2 before we knew it,” Miller said. “We tightened up a bit after that and Huet made some big saves for us. It wasn’t the prettiest of games, but it’s a big win at a big time of the season.”

The Kings opened the scoring on Armstrong’s breakaway at 10:50 of the first period. He caught up with a long clearing pass off the boards from teammate Tim Gleason, swooped in on Johnson and beat him high to the glove side for his career-high 13th goal.

Frolov made it 2-0 with his team-high 21st goal.


Andy Murray coached his 396th regular-season game with the Kings, tying Bob Pulford’s franchise record. Murray needs two more wins to equal Pulford’s club record of 178. … Carter is the 41st player to appear in a game for the Kings this season, six short of the club record set in 1995-96. Carter’s luggage got lost before his early-morning flight from Washington’s Dulles Airport, so he wasn’t able to join his new teammates for the morning skate. …Phoenix LW Tyson Nash missed his second straight game because of bruised ribs.

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