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GLENDALE, Ariz. - Behind 20 saves by rookie Al Montoya and third-period goals by Ed Jovanovski and Scottie Upshall, the Coyotes beat the Los Angeles Kings, 2-1, on Thursday night in front of 13,177 fans at Jobing.com Arena.
“It’s a simple game if you keep it simple,” said Montoya, who made 23 saves against Colorado on Wednesday night in his NHL debut. “Just play hard and cut down the angles, and that’s what I want to do. My defensive corps is doing a great job at letting me see the puck and feel it.”
The victory was the third in a row for the Coyotes (34-37-7), who last won three straight games from Nov. 8-12. It was also Phoenix's fourth consecutive win at Jobing.com Arena.
“Our team is playing great,” Upshall said. “We are getting great goaltending. Montoya the last couple games has been outstanding for us and a big reason why we have two (wins) here in the last couple games. We are only letting in one goal here this late in the season. It says a lot for our tenders and for everyone in front of him.”
The Coyotes put up 17 shots on Kings goalie Jonathan Quick in the first two periods, but he stopped them all. Phoenix finally broke threw in the third period.
Jovanovski cut backdoor and buried a slick pass from captain Shane Doan at 6:08 to tie the score at 1.
The Coyotes took the lead courtesy of Upshall and Matthew Lombardi with just under six minutes to play. Lombardi, driving the right side, backhanded a pass into the slot that found a streaking Upshall, who one-timed a shot past Quick at 14:06 for his sixth goal with the Coyotes and 13th of the season.
“I thought Lombardi made a great pass from the corner,” Upshall said. “On a two-on-two rush, you try to create a lot of things but sometimes it’s not there. It was a great play by him and I was just lucky to get my stick on it.”
Phoenix secured the victory from that point by drawing two penalties and allowing just one harmless shot on Montoya.
“To get a win at home, there is nothing like it," said Montoya, who will start his third consecutive game on Saturday night vs. Los Angeles at the Staples Center. "...The team is playing well. I just want to make those saves and give the team a chance every single night."
The Kings (31-35-11) scored their goal with 2:30 left in the first period. Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle threw an errant pass into the slot and Kings forward Derek Armstrong gathered the puck and fired a shot threw Montoya's legs.
• Armstrong's last goal was Feb. 21, also against the Coyotes.
• The Coyotes scratched Martin Hanzal, Nigel Dawes, Enver Lisin, Brian McGrattan, Dmitri Kalinin and Mikkel Boedker. Los Angeles scratched Peter Harrold, Brad Richardson, Alexander Frolov, Kyle Quincey, Jarret Stoll, Corey Elkins
• The Kings are 1-5-1 in their past seven games.
• The Coyotes went 0 for 4 on the power play while the Kings were scoreless in their only chance.
• The Kings outhit the Coyotes 43-16.
• Jovanovski has a plus-6 rating in Phoenix's past three games.