By Jerry Brown | NHL.com
GLENDALE -- After scoring two of their prettiest goals of the season to snap a scoring drought against the Kings and Jonathan Quick, Phoenix's game-winner on Saturday night at Jobing.com Arena was much less fancy. But no one in the Phoenix dressing room, least of all goal-scorer Daymond Langkow, was quibbling over style points.
Langkow's shot from a tough angle took a fortuitous deflection off a stick and snuck through Quick with 43.7 seconds left in overtime to lift the Coyotes past Los Angeles, 3-2, and give them their third win in the last four games (see KEY MOMENT
snapped a seven-game scoreless streak with a pair of goals in the second period for the Coyotes, who had lost four straight to Los Angeles including once at home on Oct. 20. Phoenix also won for the first time this season when allowing the first goal of the game (1-3-0).
Goalie Mike Smith
made 37 saves - including several in critical late-game and overtime situations - to get the win in goal for Phoenix.
Since Head Coach Dave Tippett reunited Ray Whitney
with Vrbata and Martin Hanzal
on Thursday against New Jersey, that trio has combined for five of Phoenix's eight goals and 11 points between them.
"The puck hasn't been going in for me, but putting a familiar face like 'Whits' on the line has changed things up and we've been very comfortable," said Vrbata, who had two assists against the Devils. "The chemistry is just there. We know each other and where we are going to be on the ice. I think all three of us enjoy it."
Mike Richards scored in the second period for the Kings before Anze Kopitar tied the score with 13:30 left in regulation to force overtime. After giving up just 10 goals in their first seven games, Los Angeles has allowed nine in the last three.
The Coyotes can thank their penalty-killing unit for their second two-game winning streak of the season. The unit stopped the Kings on all four chances, including the first 1:46 of overtime, and have now killed 34 of the last 37 enemy power plays (91.8 percent), dating to the season opener on Oct. 8 in San Jose. Vrbata and Hanzal have had a hand in that, too, as the two forwards who play most frequently on the kill unit.
"Our PK was awesome, especially killing a 4-on-3 against that team because they have so much firepower," Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle
said. "Since the first game when that unit struggled, they have been really good. They pressure really hard and give the opposition very little time to handle the puck. We're aggressive, and as a guy who's on the power play for our team, those are the PK units that give you trouble."
Quick, who had three shutouts last week - including a 2-0 blanking of the Coyotes in Glendale nine days ago - has now allowed six goals in his last two games.
After a scoreless first period, Richards - who had eight assists but only one goal in nine games with L.A. - was waiting off the left post when Brown found him for a one-timer 2:58 into the second. But the Coyotes responded minutes later, finally solving Quick.
Vrbata, who hadn't scored since Oct. 10 in Dallas, was waiting in the middle at 5:36 when Hanzal found him from behind the net. Vrbata patiently waited for both Quick and Kopitar to sprawl on the ice before wristing the puck over both. It was the first goal Phoenix had scored on Quick in 85:36 of action this year - but it didn't take nearly as long for the second one.
Ten minutes later, Phoenix defenseman Rostislav Klesla
found Hanzal on the fly in the neutral zone down the left side, and he pushed a cross-ice pass that found Vrbata in stride at the far post for the tip in to give the Coyotes their first lead of the night. Hanzal now has six points (three goals, three assists) in his last four games.
Phoenix killed off an early Los Angeles power play in the third period, but the Kings evened seconds later. Smith stopped Trent Hunter's shot, but the rebound popped up and landed in the slot, where Kopitar flipped in the backhand at 6:30. It was Kopitar's fourth goal of the year and his first in the last 10 games against the Coyotes.
"We had our moments in the game that were really good, and then at the end we had problems getting out of our own end," Los Angeles Head Coach Terry Murray said. "Then in the third period, at a critical time, there was no forecheck at all."
► EDITOR'S NOTE:
Dave Vest of phoenixcoyotes.com compiled this recap.
In the final minute of overtime, Coyotes forward Radim Vrbata
skated the puck through the nuetral zone and into the LA zone up the left wing. Vrbata stopped at the top of the circle and fed a pass to a driving Daymond Langkow
, who flipped the puck on goal. On its way, the puck hit a stick and trickled through Kings goalie Jonathan Quick with 43.7 seconds left.
"I thought it went off Quick's stick, but I don't really care as long as it went in," said Langkow, who had gone five games without a goal. "I've had chances in a lot of these games but the puck seems to be bouncing off my stick. You can't get frustrated because that just makes it worse. You have to keep working and hope your luck will even out."
► Click here
to watch the KEY MOMENT
• Before the game, the Coyotes, Kings and fans observed a moment of silence for Glendale Police Officer Brad Jones, who was killed in the line of duty early Saturday just a few miles from Jobing.com Arena.
• The Coyotes are 5-0-0 in games in which they've led after two periods.
• The Coyotes have killed 31 of 34 penalties in the last nine games.
• Center Martin Hanzal
had two assists, took three shots, delivered two hits and blocked four shots.
• On Saturday morning, the Coyotes announced they had reclaimed forward Brett MacLean off waivers. Click here
to read more.
• The Coyotes scratched Andy Miele
and Cal O'Reilly
• The Coyotes' next game is Wednesday vs. Colorado at the Pepsi Center. The puck drops at 6:30 p.m. (Arizona time). The game can be heard on XTRA Sports 910 (AM).