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Jokinen's Hat Trick Goal
Gretzky Press Conference
Gretzky Press Conference
Tickets: vs. Blues on 2/28
LOS ANGELES - Olli Jokinen ended an 11-game goal-scoring drought in style on Saturday afternoon to lead the Coyotes to a 6-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center.
Jokinen scored three goals, and David Hale, Viktor Tikhonov and Mikkel Boedker each scored one goal for the Coyotes, who have started a crucial climb up the Western Conference standings.
“We got a really good team effort and overall it was a big victory for us and put us back in the race,” Coyotes Head Coach Wayne Gretzky said. “I thought it was maybe the best we've played all season long as far as getting traffic to the net. It was a good team effort in the sense of battling for loose pucks and battling for opportunities.”
Trailing 2-1 in the latter half of the second period, the Coyotes (27-28-5) thrice scored within 6:02 to take control. Jokinen, centering a line with wingers Daniel Carcillo and Peter Mueller, started the comeback by redirecting a shot from the top of the left circle by Kurt Sauer past Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick with 7:26 left and a penalty coming against the Kings. That goal, and a fight between Coyotes forward Daniel Winnik and Kings defenseman Kyle Quincey moments later, ignited the Coyotes, who scored two more goals before the period ended.
Tikhonov netted his fourth goal in the past four games 16 seconds after the fight when he shot the puck past Quick from between the circles. Jokinen then made the score 4-2 by lifting the puck over Quick’s glove from the left circle at 18:36 for his 500th NHL point.
"Olli was solid at both ends of the rink,” Gretzky said. “He had a really strong game. I think Carcillo and Mueller did a tremendous job, one of the better games they've played all season long. They were strong on the puck, they hounded pucks and got pucks to Olli, so as a tandem I thought those three played really well.”
Boedker scored his goal 1:31 into the third period to squash any hopes of a rally by the Kings (25-24-9), who upped their home losing streak to four games.
“I think they just out-waited us,” Quincey told reporters. “They had more patience than we did and they capitalized on our mistakes. They were very good. They have good, young, skilled forwards and they showed it today where they cycled us well, and around our net they were more hungry than we were.”
|Kyle Quincey (left) and Daniel Winnik trade punches on Saturday. (Noah Graham/NHLI via Getty Images.)|
Jokinen completed his fifth career hat trick with a short-handed, empty-net goal with 2:04 to play.
“It's been a month without a goal but the bottom line is to get the two points and playing with good players,” said Jokinen, who last scored a goal on Jan. 20. “It's nice to score but the bottom line is to stay in this playoff race… If you don't screen it's tough to score. We had pretty good traffic today and we have to keep doing that and keep getting wins."
The Coyotes did not allow a shot on goal for the first 8:31 of the game. Hale, who became a father for the first time earlier in the week, gave Phoenix a 1-0 lead at 8:53 with a one-timer through traffic from the left point.
• Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov made 30 saves to improve to 7-1-0 in his past eight games against the Kings. He is 4-0 at the Staples Center during that stretch.
• Eleven Coyotes notched at least one point, including center Martin Hanzal, who finished with two assists and a plus-3 rating.
• Coyotes captain Shane Doan had a game-high six shots on goal.
• The Coyotes are 2-0-0 in matinee games this season.
• Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle and forward Steven Goertzen were healthy scratches. The Kings scratched center Oscar Moller. Los Angeles defenseman Denis Gauthier did not play because he was suspended for two games, without pay, as a result of an incident during Thursday’s game against the San Jose Sharks.
• The Kings drafted Jokinen with the third overall pick of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. He played 74 games for LA before being traded to the New York Islanders.