The Kings finally notched their first win of the season. They did not play well in the season opener, and lost 5-2 to the Chicago Blackhawks.
In the fourth game of the season, the defending champs were finally rewarded. They went to Phoenix and beat the Coyotes 4-2.
After a scoreless first period, one in which the Kings had a 5 on 3 power play for 2 mins but failed to score, the top line went to work early in the scoreless 2nd period.
After the Coyotes won a faceoff in their own zone, just to the right of goaltender (and former L.A. King) Jason LaBarbera, Justin Williams went hard on the forecheck, and Dustin Brown covered the near sideboards. As a result of Williams' hard work, the Phoenix defense hurried a pass up the boards, where Brown was waiting. Brownie slid the puck over to Kopitar in the slot, and the Slovenian notched his first goal of the season, to put the Kings up 1-0 at 1:04 of the period.
The lead was short lived, as the Coyotes took advantage of a 5 on 3 power play, and tied the game up 1-1 at the 3:57 mark. 4 mins 11 secs later, Kopi struck again and put the Kings ahead 2-1.
Momentum was definitely favoring the Kings, when Jeff Carter first did a nice job of curling behind defenseman Jake Muzzin as Muzzin tried to hold the puck in the Phoenix zone, but it trickled by him. Carter retrieved the puck and slid a cross ice pass to Simon Gagne. Gagne ripped a shot from the faceoff circle, and Carter pounded in the rebound.
A few minutes later, with L.A. still leading 3-1, Drew Doughty broke his stick while attempting a slapshot. The result was a breakaway for Mikkel Boedker. Boedker tried to beat Jonathan Quick low on the blocker side, but was denied.
When Shane Doan scored just 22 secs into the 3rd period, the lead was trimmed to 3-2.
It is always nice to have scoring from an unexpected source. That is exactly what happened for the Kings, when rookie defenseman Jake Muzzin took a pass from Kyle Clifford, and ripped home a slapshot from the blueline at 8:35 of the period.
Kings Center Mike Richards is known for being an extremely smart hockey player. Though he did not get onto the scoresheet, he may have put the final nail in the Coyotes' coffin.
With the Kings leading 4-2, with about 6 mins to play, Shane Doan drilled Dustin Brown along the boards. Richards took exception and got into the face of Doan. The ensuing fight was uneventful, and pretty much a draw. Both players received 5 min penalties for fighting, meaning that when the penalties were up, there would be only 35 secs left in the game.
Not only did the Kings have the lead, but their superior roster depth made it much easier for them to cope with losing Richards, than it was for the Coyotes to cope with losing Doan.
The Kings did play well, but certain troubling trends continued. The Kings again did not score on the power play, and are now 0-23 on the season. They also were called for another 'Too many men on the ice' penalty, the third such penalty in the last two games.
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