By Associated Press LOS ANGELES -- Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov posted his 19th NHL shutout and the Coyotes beat the fading Los Angeles Kings, 2-0, on Thursday night at the Staples Center for their fourth straight road victory.
Lee Stempniak also scored for the Coyotes (24-15-9), who have won each of the first three games with the Kings this season. Bryzgalov made 36 saves en route to his third shutout of the season after giving up eight goals in consecutive losses to San Jose and Nashville.
Bryzgalov is 12-2-1 in his last 15 starts against Los Angeles, including a 6-3 victory on Dec. 29 that started the Kings on their current 2-10-0 slide. The teams conclude their home-and-home set Saturday night at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale.
The Kings (24-22-1), coming off consecutive 2-1 road losses against Dallas and St. Louis, were shut out for the third time this season. They are 12th in the tightly bunched Western Conference and trail Chicago and Colorado by five points for the eighth and final playoff seed with 35 games left.
The Coyotes, who had only six shots on net in the first period, did not record another until Ray Whitney took a deflected slap shot from the top of the left circle that was stopped by Jonathan Quick. Hanzal batted the fluttering rebound over the LA goalie's left shoulder on his backhand at 8:48 of the second period while Justin Williams was off for tripping Kyle Turris. The goal was reviewed to make sure Hanzal's stick did not go above the crossbar. After a lengthy review, the goal was allowed.
Kings Head Coach Terry Murray did not like the call, to say the least.
Photo by Associated Press.
"How does it get called on the ice as a goal, first of all, and then how does the replay hold it up? I don't have an answer," Murray told reporters. "I mean, you've got a guy that gets credit for the goal, he's 6-foot-6 and the stick is above his head. Matt Greene is 6-3, and he's trying to bat the puck down with his hand beside his ear. And the net is four feet high. That doesn't add up. It makes no sense. I don't know why we have video replay in the National Hockey League. If the replay is there for the review of goals and non-goals...I don't know."
Stempniak, who recorded his only NHL hat trick on Oct. 21 against the Kings at Phoenix, made the score 2-0 just 57 seconds after Hanzal's goal (see KEY MOMENT below).
"When you can come in and steal one like that, that’s a good two points for us," Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "Bryzgalov was obviously very good. We got ourselves into some penalty trouble…they put a lot of pressure on us through our penalties but we managed to weather the storm and find a way to win.”
► EDITOR'S NOTE: Dave Vest of phoenixcoyotes.com compiled this recap.
Less than a minute after Coyotes took a 1-0 lead in the second period on Martin Hanzal's controversial goal, winger Lee Stempniak took off from Phoenix's zone on a two-on-one rush with Taylor Pyatt and beat Kings goalie Jonathan Quick to the stick side with a wrist shot from the top of the right circle. The goal deflated the Kings and their fans.
• Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov has posted 19 NHL shutouts. Seventeen of his shutouts have come since he joined the Coyotes on Nov. 17, 2007.
• The Coyotes dressed seven defensemen for this game, a first in 2010-11. One of the defensemen was Chris Summers, whom Phoenix recalled from the American Hockey League on Wednesday. It was the first NHL game for Summers, who played 13:20, blocked two shots and delivered two hits. "It was exhilarating," Summers said. Click here to listen to his post-game comments.
• The Coyotes took only 15 shots on goal - a season-low. Their previous low this season was 21 on Jan. 13 vs. Toronto, also a win. The franchise record for fewest shots on goal in a game is 11, set twice: in 1998 vs. Dallas, and in 1999 vs. Pittsburgh.
• Defenseman Keith Yandle notched an assist to extend his point streak to six games.
• Center Martin Hanzal was voted the No. 2 Star of the Game because he scored a goal, took four of the team's 15 shots, delivered a team-high five hits and won 12 of 21 faceoffs.
• Phoenix is 8-2-1 in its last 11 game at the Staples Center.
• The Coyotes' next game is Saturday vs. Los Angeles at Jobing.com Arena. The puck drops at 6 p.m. (Arizona time). The game can be seen on Fox Sports Arizona Plus and can be heard on XTRA Sports 910 (AM).
"It doesn't matter how many times you shoot the puck if you score the goals. We didn't have much offense because we were killing the (six) penalties, but we had enough to win."
"It was really close. I was surprised they called it a goal. I thought it was going to be a high stick, but it is what it is and I'll take whatever I can get. I had exactly the same thing called in Colorado before Christmas, but they didn't count it."
"Their goalie had a great game tonight and they did a good job at clearing pucks. I think we had our chances and we had the pressure on us a lot of the night, and it’s unfortunate to give up two as quick as we did there. The good news is we get another crack at it in a couple of days."
• Jan. 20, 2011: PHX 2, LAK 0 • March 3, 2011: • April 6, 2011: