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Halpern's Late Goal Leads Coyotes Past Kings

Monday, 03.17.2014 / 11:45 PM

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Halpern's Late Goal Leads Coyotes Past Kings
Phoenix Coyotes 4, Los Angeles Kings 3
Three Stars of the Game
Jeff Halpern
G: 1Shots: 1
A: 0Hits: 1
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 12:41
Alec Martinez
Alec Martinez
G: 1Shots: 4
A: 0Hits: 3
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 17:57
Keith Yandle
Keith Yandle
G: 1Shots: 6
A: 1Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 2
+/-: 2TOI: 23:09

LOS ANGELES -- Reporters who entered the Phoenix Coyotes' dressing room at Staples Center on Monday night were greeted by Keith Yandle and Paul Bissonnette dancing to a loud hip-hop beat. It's not every day that a team comes back in third period against the Los Angeles Kings.

Celebration was in order after Jeff Halpern's goal with 3:05 left gave Phoenix a 4-3 win against Los Angeles. Yandle also scored in the third and the Coyotes, down 3-2 to start the period, climbed two points ahead of the Dallas Stars for eighth place in the Western Conference standings.

The Kings were 21-0-0 this season and 126-1-11 in the past 138 regular-season games when leading after two periods, dating to April 4, 2009.

"I know how good they are here," Coyotes captain Shane Doan said. "They've got such a great blue line and they've got so many good forwards. Obviously, their record is pretty much perfect. So it was big for us to find points, even in regulation."

Halpern's fourth goal this season was a shot from the left side that Kings goalie Jonathan Quick appeared to stop with his stick, but replays showed that the puck crossed the line. The crowd was still cheering at the apparent save, and Quick subsequently made an unbelievable blocker save on Doan while prone, until Halpern's shot was revealed to be a goal.

Phoenix tied it 3-3 with 10:16 left on an unassisted goal by Yandle, who ripped a slap shot from the blue line that went in off Quick's glove. The comeback embodied the urgency shown by the Coyotes, who have won six of eight.

"We were in dire straits going into the third," Doan said. "And the fact that you've got to find points every night. You're down to 13-14 games left. It was big."

The Kings erased a 2-0 deficit, had killed two penalties and were trying to close out the win after Marian Gaborik scored on a snap shot from the slot that ramped off the stick of Coyotes defenseman Derek Morris at 18:19 of the third.

Instead, Los Angeles has lost three consecutive one-goal games.

"I thought they were desperate the whole game," Quick said. "That's the time of year it is. Everybody's playing desperate. I thought we played well enough. I don't think I played well enough. You give up four goals, you're going to lose games. I've got to be better."

Defenseman Alec Martinez made it 2-2 with a shot from the left side that found the upper right corner of the net at 6:50 of the second to erase the 2-0 deficit. Martinez, who had seven points in his first 40 games, has seven points in his past eight.

Los Angeles forced Phoenix to spend a lot of time in its own end in the second period, when the Kings had a 15-3 shot advantage and did not allow the Coyotes a shot in the final 15:25. Phoenix goalie Mike Smith, in his ninth straight start, looked sharp at the beginning, but then became flustered at times.

But Smith kept the Coyotes in the game early and finished with 36 saves. Smith was somewhat questionable and reportedly felt "down" at the morning skate. He was 3-6-0 in his previous 10 starts against Los Angeles, including the postseason.

"Once you get into the game, I think the adrenaline kind of takes over," Smith said. "I lacked a little bit of energy tonight. But there is no time for feeling down and being sick right now. It was good to get back in there."

The Kings pointed to not putting in more pucks at the start, and their losing streak could cost them. Los Angeles has a two-point lead on the Minnesota Wild for sixth in the conference.

"It comes down to having to play a full 60 minutes," Martinez said. "We didn't do that. We had a few breakdowns. We can't have that, especially in the third period against a hockey club like that, so this is a battle here in the West to make the playoffs. Everyone is jockeying for spots. We've got to sharpen up.

"They were a desperate hockey team tonight and we didn't match them."

The Kings' comeback erased an ideal road start for Phoenix, which scored two goals in 63 seconds for a 2-0 lead against a Los Angeles team that looked disorganized at the start.

Mikkel Boedker was left completely free in the slot to lift a backhand into the left side of the net for a power-play goal at 7:36 in the first. Rob Klinkhammer knocked down Radim Vrbata's shot and swiped the puck through the feet of Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr at 6:33.

Los Angeles salvaged the opening period on a terrific play in transition by rookie Tanner Pearson, who sped down the left wing and beat Smith with a wrist shot at 17:02 for his second NHL goal.

Coyotes center Martin Hanzal returned to the lineup after missing nine games with a lower-body injury. He played 17:04, notched an assist, delivered three hits and won nine of 14 face-offs.

Kings captain Dustin Brown missed a second game because of a lower-body injury. Phoenix center Martin Hanzal returned to the lineup from a lower-body injury.

scoring summary
1st Period
Rob Klinkhammer (11) ASST: Radim Vrbata (28), Martin Hanzal (23)
1 - 0 PHX
PPG - Mikkel Boedker (17) ASST: Oliver Ekman-Larsson (26), Keith Yandle (41)
2 - 0 PHX
Tanner Pearson (2) ASST: Jarret Stoll (15), Tyler Toffoli (14)
2 - 1 PHX
2nd Period
Alec Martinez (8) ASST: Jeff Carter (20)
2 - 2 Tie
PPG - Marian Gaborik (8) ASST: Anze Kopitar (36), Slava Voynov (24)
3 - 2 LAK
3rd Period
Keith Yandle (8) ASST: NONE
3 - 3 Tie
Jeff Halpern (4) ASST: Shane Doan (21), Kyle Chipchura (11)
4 - 3 PHX
penalty summary
1st Period
Mike Ribeiro  Hooking against  Marian Gaborik
Drew Doughty  Cross checking against  Brandon McMillan
Justin Williams  Hooking against  Jeff Halpern
2nd Period
Keith Yandle  Interference against  Mike Richards
Michael Stone  Holding against  Anze Kopitar
3rd Period
Justin Williams  Tripping against  Oliver Ekman-Larsson
Kyle Clifford  Interference on goalkeeper against  Mike Smith
David Moss  Interference on goalkeeper against  Jonathan Quick
goalie stats
Mike Smith
Mike Smith
SA: 39TOI: 60:00
Saves: 36EV: 27 - 29
PIM: 0PP: 8 - 9
SV%: .923SH: 1 - 1
Jonathan Quick
Jonathan Quick
SA: 27TOI: 58:55
Saves: 23EV: 15 - 18
PIM: 0PP: 8 - 9
SV%: .852SH: 0 - 0 is the official Web site of the Arizona Coyotes. The Arizona Coyotes and are trademarks of IceArizona Hockey Co LP. NHL, NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL Logos and marks NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 2015 The Arizona Coyotes and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | AdChoices | Contact us | Site Map