Kings Finally Secure Their First Post-Championship Victory Beating Playoff And Division Rival Phoenix 4-2 Despite Not Scoring On The Power Play Yet Again
FEATURED GAME STORY
IT’S NOT A SNAP, BUT KINGS GET FIRST WIN
By Helene Elliot • LA Times
The Kings got their first win of the season, each member of their top line got his first point of the season, and rookie defenseman Jake Muzzin played clutch minutes while scoring his first NHL goal.
Notably missing from that list is the Kings’ first power-play goal of the season. They’re still waiting for that, but they checked off a healthy number of significant “firsts” Saturday in earning a 4-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in the teams’ first meeting since the Kings prevailed in the Western Conference finals last spring.
Top-line center Kopitar scored the Kings’ first two goals with the help of each of his wingers, first Dustin Brown and then Williams, and Muzzin provided a cushion with a long screen shot that snaked past Jason LaBarbera to give the Kings a 4-2 lead at 8 minutes 35 seconds of the third period.
Kyle Clifford, a rugged winger who has thrived after being moved to a scoring line, assisted on Muzzin’s goal and has points in all four games the Kings (1-2-1) have played in this shortened season.
Eight players figured in the scoring…
The Kings — who again scratched a healthy Dustin Penner from their lineup — scored at 1:04 of the second period, after Brown passed the puck to his right to Kopitar, whose wrist shot eluded LaBarbera. The Coyotes pulled even at 3:57, with 10 seconds left on a five-on-three advantage, when Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s shot bounced in front of the net and Mikkel Boedker swatted it home.
Kopitar made it 2-1 at 5:08, off a nifty pass from Williams, and Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick preserved that lead with a right-leg save on a breakaway by Boedker. Jeff Carter extended the lead to 3-1 at 11:33, on the rebound of a shot that Simon Gagne had taken from just above the right circle, and an apparent tying goal by Phoenix a few seconds later was waved off when the officials ruled that David Moss had impeded Quick’s ability to make a save.
Read some more game stories…
Sports Illustrated: Kings earn first victory, 4-2 over Coyotes
ESPN: Stanley Cup champion Kings earn first victory of the season
AP via USA Today: Los Angeles Kings beat Phoenix Coyotes for first victory
Arizona Sports: Phoenix Coyotes fall to defending Stanley Cup champions
AZCentral: Phoenix Coyotes fall short against Los Angeles Kings
On his top forwards scoring: “Kopi was good tonight…The goal-scorers scored. Carts had one too. That’s what wins the game.”
On Muzzin: “I didn’t know it was his first NHL goal. But he hit the net. We talked about that yesterday privately and [to the media]. D hitting the net.”
On the defensemen: “Our D is solid. They played good all three games. The six of them. We haven’t given up a whole lot other than on the power play.”
On scoring tonight: “It’s just nice to get it out of the way. You definitely think about it. I’m just happy I was able to contribute for a big win.”
On the team coming together tonight: “Every time you’re on the road you need to play a team game. You want to roll four lines. Our PK come up big again. Yeah, we gave one up on the five-on-three, but killed everything else. Our power play can be better, but we got two points and that’s what we want.”
On Clifford: “He’s making his name out there for sure. He’s playing solid.” “He’s one of the best players on this team right now.”
On the power play: “Everybody was on us during the playoffs last year, but it turned out we got the timely goals.” “You look at the stats and percentage, but if you get it when you need it the most, that’s what we’ve been known to do.”
On the power play: “That’s another one that will feel nice when it happens. We’re getting there. It’s a process. You don’t play for six, seven months, it doesn’t come back in the snap of a hat.”
On what a snap of a hat is: “What expression is that? The snap of a finger.” “It’s certainly good to get going. Good to get a win.”
On his first NHL goal: “Cliffy made a real nice pass up high through a guys stick to me, which gave me a lot of time and then I let a little wrister at the net and it found a way in…I didn’t really see it go in, but when the guys came over we all kind of had a little laugh because it was one of those hope wristers that floated through. It’s a good feeling to get your first NHL goal, but to get the win here is more important.”
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