By Curtis Zupke | NHL.com Correspondent
LOS ANGELES – Willie Mitchell and Dustin Brown scored third-period goals as the Los Angeles Kings beat the injury-depleted Coyotes at the Staples Center on Monday night.
The Kings (17-14-5) snapped a 14-game streak in which it did not scored more than two goals in regulation, a slump that dated to before Thanksgiving.
The NHL's lowest-scoring team saw unlikely scorers Mitchell, Rob Scuderi and Brad Richardson contribute, and the Kings moved to 2-0-1 under new coach Darryl Sutter.
Mitchell scored on a shot from the right side fewer than two minutes into the third (see KEY MOMENT below), and Brown had his shot trickle between the pads of Jason LaBarbera at 7:06.
The Coyotes (18-15-3), who took an 11-6-1 road record into Monday's game, got two goals from Raffi Torres and showed resiliency but opened a post-Christmas road stretch with a loss.
Phoenix goalie Mike Smith missed a third straight game because of a lower-body injury, and the Coyotes literally had to patch a big hole in their lineup because centers Martin Hanzal and Boyd Gordon sat out with upper- and lower-body injuries, respectively.
But Phoenix held its own with help from Torres and newly-recalled Patrick O'Sullivan.
|Photo by Getty Images.
Torres collected took a long stretch pass from O’Sullivan and scored a breakaway goal to tie the score at 2 midway through the second, a sloppy period by L.A. in which it was charged with nine giveaways.
The Kings started strong and took a 2-1 lead on simple, hard work by their forwards. Richardson brought the puck across the blue line for an extended period in the Phoenix zone and then went in front of the net to tip Slava Voynov's waist-high slap shot from the right side at 13:48.
Scuderi scored with a slap shot from the right point at 4:09. Anze Kopitar started the whole sequence when he won a puck battle to keep it in the Coyotes' zone.
Phoenix responded to Scuderi's goal with a terrific play by Torres, who grabbed a loose puck in the Phoenix end, skated down and flung the puck over Jonathan Quick's shoulder with Jack Johnson on his back.
► EDITOR'S NOTE: Dave Vest of phoenixcoyotes.com edited this story and compiled this recap.
With the score tied 2-2, Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell took a drop pass from forward Dustin Penner, skated the puck into the right circle and then wristed a shot past Coyotes goalie Jason LaBarbera
at 1:48 of the third period.
► Click here
to watch the KEY MOMENT
• Before the game, the Coyotes made several roster moves, including placing goalie Mike Smith
on the injured-reserve list retroactive to Dec. 20 and recalling goalie Curtis McElhinney
from the American Hockey League. Click here
to read more about the roster moves the team made on Monday.
• The Coyotes played minus center/alternate captain Martin Hanzal
and minus center Boyd Gordon
. Hanzal suffered an upper-body injury in Friday's 3-2 loss vs. St. Louis. He is considered "day-to-day." Gordon also is considered "day-to-day" after suffering a lower-body injury vs. St. Louis.
• Forward Raffi Torres
notched two goals for his first multi-goal game and first multi-point game as a member of the Coyotes. Torres also delivered a team-high four hits in 14:16 of ice time.
• Center Daymond Langkow
scored a goal to end a 12-game goal-scoring drought.
• Goalie Curtis McElhinney
, whom the Coyotes recalled from the American Hockey League on Monday, made his debut with Phoenix when Head Coach Dave Tippett pulled starter Jason LaBarbera
at 7:06 of the third period. McElhinney stopped all six shots he faced.
• Center Cal O'Reilly
played in his 100th NHL game. He was plus-2.
• Defenseman Adrian Aucoin
, who suffered a lower-body injury in the game vs. the New York Rangers on Dec. 17, missed his fourth consecutive game.
• The Coyotes scratched Boyd Gordon
, Martin Hanzal
and David Rundblad
• The Coyotes' next game is Wednesday vs. the Boston Bruins at Jobing.com Arena The puck drops at 7 p.m. (Arizona time). The game can be seen on Fox Sports Arizona Plus and can be heard on XTRA Sports 910 (AM).