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Kings earn important home win over Coyotes

December 3, 2022, 4:06 AM ET [0 Comments]
Ben Shelley
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The Los Angeles Kings picked up an important win over the Arizona Coyotes yesterday, coming away with a 5-3 victory.

Samuel Fagemo and Tobias Bjornfot both entered the Kings’ lineup for the first time this season, with Rasmus Kupari being assigned to the AHL’s Ontario Reign and Sean Walker as a scratch.

Los Angeles had a lot of momentum early, getting some good chances on a power play but weren't able to capitalize. Then despite killing off a double-minor afterwards, the Kings ended up giving up a shorthanded goal, after Sean Durzi poked the puck right to Christian Fischer, who went down ice beat Jonathan Quick on a breakaway. The Kings did manage to tie it back up only 36 seconds later on that same power play though, with Anze Kopitar burying a one-timer off a great pass from Gabriel Vilardi. After outshooting the Coyotes 15-11, the Kings went into the intermission tied.

The Coyotes took the lead once again only about five minutes into the second frame, with Troy Stecher's point shot being redirected by Matias Maccelli. Then only a few minutes later, Alex Edler just wiped out in the corner and gave the puck up to Dylan Guenther, who fed Nick Bjugstad to extend Arizona’s lead, and things really weren’t looking good for Los Angeles.

The Kings cut the lead shortly after on another power play though, as Trevor Moore finished off a nice passing play. Then after Los Angeles continued to press, Carl Grundstrom ended up with the puck on a late 2-on-1 and ripped a shot over Karel Vejmelka, tying the game through 40 minutes.

Anze Kopitar got the Kings their first lead of the game in the final frame, driving around J.J. Moser and heading to the net, to put a shot past Vejmelka. Los Angeles did an excellent job eliminating chances for Arizona after that, limiting the Coyotes to a single shot in the frame. Then with about two minutes to go, Adrian Kempe picked off a pass in the defensive zone and managed to get the puck out to the neutral zone to feed Kevin Fiala, who buried an empty netter to secure a 5-3 win.

It wasn’t the prettiest win, but it was a very, very important one nonetheless. After dropping the first two games of their homestand (and five of their last six games overall), this was a key win to pick up points against a weak opponent and begin to get back on track.

Los Angeles certainly didn’t eliminate their defensive mistakes through the first half of the game and Arizona capitalized. That said, they did manage to shut down chances as the game went on, and battled back to pull out the win.

It’s worth noting, Samuel Fagemo registered his first NHL point yesterday, with an assist on Carl Grundstrom’s goal. Pheonix Copley was also backing up Quick, and it’s going to be interesting to see how willing the team is to use him right now.

It wasn’t perfect, but the Kings did outshoot Arizona by a sizeable margin and managed to get the job done. They’ll face a tougher test tomorrow night, as they close out their homestand against the Carolina Hurricanes.

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