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Coyotes Third Period Collapse Hands Kings 5-4 Victory

© Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

After being up 4-1 early, the Arizona Coyotes suffered a 5-4 defeat to the Los Angeles Kings at Mullett Arena on Oct. 27.

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Following a 6-3 loss on Oct. 24, Arizona returned home as the Kings took a trip to Tempe this time.

The ‘Yotes did not have left winger Lawson Crouse and defenseman Travis Dermott in their lineup.

Both players were dealing with an undisclosed illness and out of tonight’s matchup as they were labeled as day-to-day.

Looking to get back on track, the Coyotes hoped to get some “Mullett Magic” brewing.

And it did early, then dissipated.

First Period

Not even a minute into the game, the Coyotes got on board first.

While on a 2-on-1 break, Arizona left winger Matias Maccelli had the puck on the right side of the ice.

With ‘Yotes teammate Alex Kerfoot alongside him, Maccelli only had a shot in mind.

0:37 in, Maccelli would rip the puck past the blocker of Kings goaltender Pheonix Copley to give Arizona a 1-0 lead.

That goal started an offensive onslaught.

Wide open, LA defenseman Mikey Anderson slotted a one-timer right in front of the net from a pass by winger Quinton Byfield 5:55 into the first-20 minutes to tie the game 1-1.

Looking to respond, Coyotes right winger Nick Schmaltz took a shot that was deflected and went over the head of Copley before hitting the post.

Quickly, ‘Yotes defenseman J.J. Moser rushed towards the net and tapped it in with 12:14 left in the first period as Arizona gained a 2-1 advantage.

Right after, Coyotes left winger Liam O’Brien took a shot that was deflected by center Jack McBain 0:45 later.

With the score 3-1, the Kings swapped goalies with taking Copley out, who gave up 3 goals on 6 shots, for veteran Cam Talbot.

Against his former team, ex-King Sean Durzi would make it 4-1 Coyotes.

Breaking out, Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka went behind the net and whipped it around the boards to left winger Zach Sanford.

Hustling, Sanford passed to Durzi who would bolt through center ice and cut in front of the Kings net.

Desperately, LA defenseman Drew Doughty tripped Durzi, but Durzi dived before he found enough room inside Talbot’s left arm and scored as Arizona were running riot, up 4-1.

Additionally, those three goals came in a span of 1:11 apart.

Furthermore, this was the first time the Coyotes would score 4 goals in a first period since a 6-3 victory against the Montreal Canadiens on Mar. 15, 2022.

Moreover, it was the most-first period goals in a Arizona home game since their 4-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Jan. 13, 2017

Down 4-1, the Kings outshot the Coyotes 13-7.

Second Period

Until now, the goaltending difference was the sticking point.

However, the second period would see multiple big saves by both Talbot and Vejmelka to keep the score close.

And yet, one team closes the deficit.

In their last encounter, the Coyotes were down 4-1, but clawed back to 4-3 before losing 6-3.

Tonight, the Kings scraped a goal back to be down by only two.

First, McBain would take a holding penalty on Kings left winger Kevin Fiala to give LA a powerplay.

As a result, Doughty would capitalize with 3:49 left in the period to make it 4-2.

Third Period

Following the Doughty goal, the Kings picked up right where they left off.

And then some.

Ever since the first period, Byfield had a few opportunities before he eventually tipped a shot by LA forward Arthur Kaliyev 1:50 into the third period to close the game down to 4-3.

Moving forward, the Kings offense had the majority of the momentum as winger Adrian Kempe stood in front of Vejmelka.

Setting a screen, Kempe allowed captain Anzě Kopitar to fire the puck over a confused Vejmelka to tie the game 4-4 with 13:06 left in regulation.

From down 4-1 to a knotted-up contest, the Kings were hungry for more.

Soon after, Kempe would hit the crossbar from a shot and Vejmelka had to make multiple saves to keep the puck out.

Then, Doughty wired a slap-shot that ringed off the right goalpost at 2:52 left.

Moments later, Doughty fired another one that beat Vejmelka with 1:59 left in the game and Los Angeles came back from 3 goals down to win 5-4.

Postgame Notes

This was the first time in 6 years that Arizona blew a three-goal lead since they lost in the home-opener of the Anaheim Ducks’, 5-4, on Oct. 5, 2017.

In the end, the Kings heavily-outshot the Coyotes 39-23.

On the power-play, the ‘Yotes were 0-for-2 while LA was 1-for-5.

As for the goaltending, Vejmelka made 34 saves on 39 shots and made big saves that if he didn’t, the Kings could have scored more.

After replacing Copley, Talbot gave up only 1 goal on 18 Coyotes attempts.

Also, Schmaltz and ‘Yotes forward Clayton Keller both picked up assists tonight to remain the point leaders for the team with 8 in 7.

Byfield, Anderson, Doughty and Kempe all had two points each for LA.

Next up, Arizona will face-off with Central Division foes, the Chicago Blackhawks on Oct. 30 at 7 p.m inside Mullett Arena.

Will “Mullett Magic” Strike Again for the Coyotes against the Kings?

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Alec Cipollini is a journalist covering the Arizona Coyotes, Cardinals and Phoenix Rising for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on his X account @AlecCipollini

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