GLENDALE, Ariz. - Enver Lisin scored two goals and Mikael Tellqvist made 32 saves to lead the Coyotes to a come-from-behind, 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings Tuesday night at Jobing.com Arena.
The Coyotes were outplayed in the first two periods but entered the third period trailing just 2-1. By many accounts, a feisty locker-room discussion during the second intermission did wonders as the Coyotes took control of the game in the final 20 minutes.
“Our forwards did an unbelievable job in the third (period) of getting pucks and cycling,” defenseman Derek Morris said. “Everything came off of that.”
Tellqvist, who made his third start in the past four games, delivered a series of key saves in the third period, including several in the final 80 seconds after the Kings pulled goalie Erik Ersberg for an extra attacker.
“Tellqvist has had a great year for us, and I know the players really enjoy playing in front of him and he’s having fun right now,” Coyotes Head Coach Wayne Gretzky said. “It’s nice to see.”
Gretzky added that Tellqvist would start Thursday’s game against Toronto.
Tuesday’s game was the first multi-goal performance of Lisin’s 38-game NHL career, and his two goals couldn’t have been less alike. He scored his first goal, which tied the score at 2 at 4:06 of the third period, by nearly fanning on a terrific centering pass from defenseman Keith Yandle.
“It was luck,” Lisin said through a huge smile.
Lisin’s second goal came at 8:08 of the third period. It was a breakaway beauty set up by a precise pass from Morris from deep inside Phoenix's zone. The following description of Lisin’s goal won’t do it justice, but here goes: Lisin gained control of Morris’ pass near the red line and took off toward Ersberg. Sensing a defender was closing in, Lisin slowed down near the top of the left circle and quickly slapped the puck over Ersberg’s right shoulder.
That shot was unbelievable … I know he’s got a good shot, but that shot was a rocket.- Mikael Tellqvist
“That shot was unbelievable,” Tellqvist said. “…I know he’s got a good shot, but that shot was a rocket.”
Even Gretzky was wowed by Lisin’s second goal.
“It was a goal-scorer’s goal,” Gretzky said. “First of all, he took the pass on the fly. Morris made a really nice pass and the kid was flying when he took the pass and that is tough to do. And then he put his head down and he saw a spot and it was an NHL goal, and the goalie really had no chance on it. It was just a great shot.”
Two weeks ago, Lisin was playing for Phoenix’s top affiliate in the American Hockey League. In six games since being promoted on Nov. 21, he has notched three goals and two assists.
“When you get sent down, it’s not the greatest day in your life, and when you come back, you’re so excited because it’s my dream from a young age to play in the NHL,” Lisin said.
Los Angeles took a 2-1 lead in the second period during its only power play. With Coyotes forward Todd Fedoruk in the penalty box for hooking, the Kings needed just 52 seconds to score.
Oscar Moller notched the goal at 8:37 from the mid-slot after a blocked shot by Coyotes defenseman Zbynek Michalek landed conveniently near Moller’s stick with no Coyotes defenders around. The rookie forward didn’t waste the lucky bounce and scored his fifth NHL goal.
The Kings grabbed a 1-0 lead at 4:59 of the first period when Alexander Frolov, battling for the puck with Coyotes defenseman David Hale behind Phoenix’s goal, knocked it toward the front of the net and it ricocheted off Tellqvist's leg and into the goal.
The Coyotes tied the score on their first power play a few minutes later when Shane Doan got the blade of his stick on a slap shot from the point by Ed Jovanovski at 6:41. The goal was Doan’s 12th of the season and his first in six games.
The Kings began the game with a burst of energy and fired five shots on Tellqvist within the first two minutes. None got by him.
Coyotes forward Peter Mueller made a nice defensive play late in the first period to thwart a two-on-one breakaway by the Kings while the Coyotes were on a power play.
Mikael Tellqvist tries to cover the puck as Alexander Frolov bats at it at Jobing.com Arena. (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)
• Coyotes center Martin Hanzal scored an empty-net goal with 31 seconds left.
• Coyotes center Olli Jokinen skated Tuesday morning for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury on Nov. 26 vs. Columbus. Gretzky said Jokinen is still at least 10 days away from playing in a game.
• Morris isn’t letting multiple nagging injuries stop him from throwing his body around. This was clearly evident in the second period when Morris knocked Kings enforcer Raitis Ivanans to the ice with hard checks twice within 15 seconds.
• Ten players had at least one point for Phoenix on Tuesday.
• With 54 career points (21 goals, 33 assists) against Los Angeles, Doan has registered more points against the Kings than any other team in his NHL career.
• Michalek blocked seven shots on Tuesday, bringing his league-high total to 82.
• Coyotes Radio Color Analyst Tyson Nash, who left the team temporarily because of the death of his mother, is expected to return to the team when it plays at Dallas on Dec. 10.
• Right wing Brian McGrattan and defenseman Ken Klee were Phoenix’s scratches. Los Angeles scratched right wing John Zeiler and defenseman Denis Gauthier, a former Coyote.