Even though they had multiple opportunities to score in the first period and on the power-play throughout, the Arizona Coyotes (8-8-2) would fail to capitalize as they lost 4-1 to the Los Angeles Kings (11-3-3) at Mullett Arena on Nov. 20.
Coming into the game, Los Angeles beat the Coyotes twice this season already.
First, Kings captain Anže Kopitar and three other Kings had two points each in a 6-3 win over Arizona on Oct. 24 in LA.
Next, the Kings went into Mullett Arena and came out with a 5-4 victory on Oct. 27.
Especially in their last game against LA., Arizona were leading 4-1 in the first period before eventually being defeated.
Knowing what happened in both matchups, the Coyotes had to mitigate Los Angeles who have a lineup constructed full of offensive firepower.
A few minutes into the game, the Coyotes were given an early chance to put pressure on the Kings.
Los Angeles forward Jaret Anderson-Dolan hooked Jason Zucker with his stick and was sent to the penalty box 2:47 in.
On the power-play, Arizona came close to scoring on Kings goaltender Pheonix Copley, but the puck somehow stayed out.
In transition, Los Angeles center Phillip Danault broke the puck out of their zone and passed it to teammate Trevor Moore.
While shorthanded, Moore sped the other way towards Coyotes goaltender Connor Ingram before sniping short-side over Ingram’s glove to give LA a 1-0 lead.
The period wore on and chaos occurred momentarily.
Kings forward Quinton Byfield would toe-drag past two ‘Yotes defenders in the slot before setting up Kopitar for a tap-in to make it 2-0 Los Angeles 8:20 into the first period.
Then, Coyotes defenseman Sean Durzi took a slashing penalty and the Kings went to the man-advantage.
But, the best chance during Los Angeles’ power-play was when Arizona right wing Nick Schmaltz had a breakaway.
As Schmaltz creeped his way in, he would shoot and beat Copley glove-side, but hit the post.
Soon, the iron would be fired at again, but from Kings rookie Alex Laferriere with 3:24 on the clock.
Coyotes right wing Jason Zucker had an opportunity late as he had a wide-open net to shoot at, but missed the goal entirely.
With 2:03 remaining in the first period, Arizona defenseman Josh Brown and Kings’ Andreas Englund both dropped the gloves and fought.
Following the scrap, nothing else ensued as the period ended 2-0 L.A.
After struggling on the power-play in the first, Arizona had two more chances, but didn’t generate much danger for Copley to handle.
Both teams were well-structured defensively for the majority of the second period.
It took until 4:29 until another goal was scored.
As he was trying to get the puck out of the Coyotes zone, forward Matias Maccelli tried to pass to a teammate.
Instead, Maccelli’s attempt was intercepted by Moore who was by himself free in the slot.
Initially winding up for a slap-shot, Moore would fool Ingram before sniping to the top-left corner of the net for his second goal of the game and extending the Kings lead to 3-0.
Making a costly mistake, Maccelli would repay his team to get them back into the game soon after.
In front of Copley, Maccelli banged home the rebound following Copley saving a shot by ‘Yotes left wing Lawson Crouse to minimize the deficit to 3-1 with 1:05 remaining in the period.
— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) November 21, 2023
Despite being down, Arizona would finish the period leading in shots, 17-14.
Yet again, a post was hit, but another player from either team was unlucky not to score.
In between the top of the face-off circles, Kings left wing Kevin Fiala shot at Ingram’s right leg pad.
Quickly, Los Angeles center Pierre-Luc Dubois pounced on the rebound, but the puck hit the post and out.
Moments later, Crouse crushed Kings defenseman Jordan Spence in the left corner of Los Angeles’ zone.
The penalty box continued being filled, but no power-play goals to show for it for either side.
To seal the game, Danault scored late to add to the Kings advantage, 4-1.
Even though they led in shots, 30-25, Arizona weren’t able to bury a goal in the first period which cost ultimately costed them.
Furthermore, the power-play for Arizona was o-for-6 with an-extra man.
From top to bottom, the Kings’ defense was able to prevent any amount of momentum from Arizona after the first-half.
Moore’s two goals led all teams in scoring while also being tied in points with Danault who had an assist and goal.
In net, Ingram saved 21-25 shots while Copley stopped 30-31.
With the win, Los Angeles improves to 8-0 on the road this season.
Meanwhile, Arizona falls to 8-8-2 on the year with 18 points and remain in fifth place in the Central Division.
Next, the Coyotes host the St. Louis Blues at Mullett Arena on Nov. 22 at 7 p.m.