Game 13; 8-5-0
GLENDALE, Ariz. – While Jarret Stoll was able to spoil Mike Smith’s shutout bid scoring his first of the year, it provided little consolation as the Los Angeles Kings fell 3-1 in the desert to the Coyotes, splitting their season series so far at a game apiece.
Six days earlier, the Kings came out with the biggest offensive performance of the year against Phoenix at Staples Center. For those hoping for a repeat wound up disappointed to say the least as Smith, who was pulled after allowing four goals on 15 shots last week, was standing on his head this night.
Like their previous game versus Edmonton, the Kings came out firing (literally) with a barrage of shots but unfortunately, also like the other night, they were hard-pressed for results.
In the first period, however, it was Ben Scrivens who stole the show between the pipes. With the Kings being outshot 17-9 in that opening frame, Scrivens stood tall showing no rust as Tuesday night was his first on-ice action since coming on in relief in Tampa Bay two weeks ago. But as good as the former Leaf was to start the contest, his play was somewhat overshadowed by both teams’ inability to stay out of the penalty box as a total of ten infractions were called in the first 20 minutes.
In the second, Los Angeles turned the tide in momentum as they outshot the Coyotes 15-10. Entering the final couple minutes of the frame, the game was still scoreless.
With just 1:41 to go in the period, Phoenix’s Derek Morris broke the deadlock wristing his third past Scrivens.
Then, with just six seconds remaining in the frame and the Coyotes on the power play, captain Shane Doan took the wind out of the Los Angeles sails slapping his third of the year past Scrivens to give the home side a 2-0 advantage.
In the third, it was more of the same as, at the 5:38 mark, Kyle Chipchura tipped in his second off a David Moss shot to put the Desert Dogs up by a field goal.
Not even outshooting their opponents 18-6 in the third could make a difference as the Los Angeles Kings, despite a late power play goal by the aforementioned Stoll, could not duplicate their performance six days ago as they fall 3-1 while once again preventing themselves at another three-game winning streak.
Prior to the game, I suggested that the Kings need to have better results on the power play and while they found themselves shorthanded five times, they did play better allowing just the one goal, albeit a deflating one.
As for effort, it’s there. In their last two outings, the Kings have registered a grand total of 90 shots which is impressive. Scoring just two goals on those 90 shots isn’t as the silver-and-black need to up the ante, if you will, and start making better end results turning those shots into tallies.
Being that this is a trend that is only a couple games old, there certainly isn’t any reason to panic in Los Angeles. Having said that, a few more goals will certainly take some pressure of the defense and the goaltenders who have been playing great despite their team’s offensive futility as of late.
The lack of offense, however, does indicate bad timing as the Kings are right back at it as they set to host the league-best San Jose Sharks on Wednesday.