San Jose

Rust Hurts Kings in 5-3 Loss to Coyotes

After not playing in over a week, the Los Angeles Kings were rusty as they fell to the Arizona Coyotes, 5-3, on Thursday night at Staples Center.

Brendan Perlini scored twice, Jordan Martinook added short-handed and empty-net goals in the third period and Mike Smith made 41 saves to lift the Arizona Coyotes to a 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night.

Tobias Rieder scored his 13th goal of the season and Oliver Ekman-Larsson picked up a point for the fifth consecutive game with his sixth assist in that span, helping the Coyotes to their fourth win in their last six games.

Tanner Pearson scored twice, Dustin Brown had a goal and an assist in the third period and Peter Budaj had 17 saves for the Kings, who trail Calgary by one point for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

While the Kings were coming off a four-game road trip and their bye week as Staples Center hosted the Grammy Awards, the Coyotes mustered more energy. Perlini scored a power-play goal 4:51 into the first period, and Rieder followed up 16 seconds later.

Perlini initially missed completely on his first shot attempt after Radim Vrbata's pass deflected off Drew Doughty, but was able to recover with a shot over Budaj's left shoulder into the top corner. It was Perlini's ninth goal of the season and second on the power play.

Before the Kings could regroup, Alex Goligoski poked the puck from Brown in the neutral zone to start a wild sequence. Rieder scored over Budaj's right stick side, but the referee initially waived off a clear goal. Josh Jooris then scored as play continued with Budaj buried on his back by a King and a Coyote, but it was superseded by Rieder's initial shot following a video review.

Pearson finally got the Kings on the board with 11:22 remaining in the third period, but Perlini immediately responded with a wrist shot for his second career multigoal game. Brown followed up his own miss to cut the Kings' deficit to 3-2 with 8:53 to play, only for Martinook to come up with a short-handed goal after Smith hit Brown in the face with his stick.


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Martinook scored into an empty net with 1:25 left, but Pearson made it a two-goal deficit again with 23 seconds remaining.

The Coyotes have responded with seven wins in their last 11 games after losing 13 of 15, including dropping nine straight in December, buoyed by points streaks from Ekman-Larsson and Radim Vrbata.

NOTES: Arizona scored multiple goals in the first period for the first time since Jan. 21. ... The Coyotes had just three first-period goals in their previous nine games. ... Rookie Adrian Kempe made his NHL debut for Los Angeles, starting alongside Anze Kopitar and Tyler Toffoli. Kempe, who was selected No. 29 overall in the 2014 draft, played 15:18 and put a breakaway shot wide of Smith late in the first period.


Arizona: Host San Jose on Saturday.

Los Angeles: Host Florida on Saturday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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