The Arizona Coyotes delivered a blow to the Los Angeles Kings’ playoff hopes Tuesday, coming back from a late deficit to win 3-2 in an 11-round shootout.
The Kings still picked up a point, which moved them to four behind the idle St. Louis Blues for the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference, but Los Angeles gave up the extra point that could have helped them stay in the race.
“We let one slip here,” Kings forward Tyler Toffoli said. “We had the lead there and it’s one of those things that we’ve just got to tighten up and find a way to bear down and lock it down, and we let one slip.”
After Toffoli scored his second goal of the game with 1:36 left to put the Kings ahead 2-1, Coyotes forward Max Domi put the puck past Los Angeles goaltender Ben Bishop off a scrum in front of the net with 44.3 seconds left in the third period to tie the game at 2-2.
“The whole group, they continue to work hard,” Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. “They want to play with pride and they know that, 14 games left now, and they want to play with pride, play hard every night.”
This sent the game to overtime where both teams had their chances but couldn’t bury the game-winner.
Los Angeles got the early edge in the shootout when Jeff Carter beat Louis Domingue on the Kings’ first attempt, but then Coyotes forward Brendan Perlini scored on Bishop on the next try to tie the breakaway contest at one goal apiece.
This set up a back-and-forth between Bishop and Domingue making save after save as Kings coach Darryl Sutter and Tippett tried to figure out which shooter could end the showdown.
“Just hope the next goes one in I guess,” Domi said when asked about the mood on the bench during the shootout. “I mean, Louis was hot there so we had a feeling that it was going to eventually go our way.”
Eventually, rookie Anthony DeAngelo fired the puck past Bishop to give Arizona the victory.
The shootout was the second-longest in Coyotes history, one round shorter than a Feb. 22, 2008 game against the Colorado Avalanche. It was the longest in Kings history, besting a Feb. 11, 2010, 10-round shootout against the Edmonton Oilers.
In their last 13 games, Los Angeles will face nine teams with a winning record and just four with a losing record. While their playoff chances aren’t over it’s getting late for the Kings to make a run – especially after this game coupled with their Monday regulation loss against the Blues.
“Every game’s a new game,” Sutter said. “I’m not going to let somebody in a basement somewhere decide where he thinks we’re going to finish.”
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