Coyotes defeat Kings in shootout, end 3-game skid
TEMPE, Arizona– Karel Wejmelka made 26 saves, and the Arizona Coyotes ended the Los Angeles Kings’ four-game winning streak with a 2-1 penalty shootout win at Mullett Arena on Friday.
Nick Schmaltz scored, and Nick Bjugstad was the only successful shooter in the shootout for the Coyotes (11-16-5), who had lost three straight games. Arizona won despite failing to score on a power play 35 seconds into overtime by the Los Angeles defenseman Drew DoughtyHook’s penalty against Schmaltz.
“They are a good team,” said Bjugstad. “They don’t give you much, it’s hard to play against them, but [we] fought hard and it was a fun game. We are thankful to have “Veggie” [Vejmelka] that’s for sure. … It’s fun to win games against teams when you’re not considered a favourite.”
Alex Jafallo scored, and Jonathan Schnell made 23 saves in his first start in six games for the Kings (19-12-6), who went 3-0 in penalties.
“We gave up a lot of chances that we shouldn’t have and he made some great saves for us,” Iafallo said of Quick. “So we owe it to him. It was a big point for us.”
Video: [email protected]: Bjugstad scores, Vejmelka stops Kings
Los Angeles played for the second straight game and went into overtime for the fourth time in five games after a 4-3 overtime win over the Calgary Flames on Thursday.
“I thought it was a brave point from our team,” said Kings coach Todd McLellan. “Our gas tanks were running out. … The neutral zone was heavily congested by both teams and there wasn’t much free play. … We settled in and did a lot of things that we wanted to do, but we just couldn’t find that web.”
Schmaltz gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead on the power play at 9:45 of the first period, gaining eight seconds to a two-man lead. Clayton KellerSchmaltz found an open back door on the left post after a face-off victory.
“That [win] was the result of the way we played,” said Arizona coach Andre Tourigny. “I liked our composure, our resilience. … They had won their last four but we were tight defensively and found a way to score a big goal.”
Arizona had each of the first three power plays but failed to score on the next two, ending 1-on-6 with man advantage.
“I think in 5-on-3 we could adjust a bit and do a better job there,” said McLellan. “They scored pretty quickly and we had a minute and a half or whatever [on the penalty kill]so it was important to kill that to not go down 0-2.
Iafallo equalized at 11:54 of the second period with a one-timer from the right spot on the Kings’ first power play to make it 1-1.
“I was just trying to shoot the puck, to be honest, got a screen and [Sean Durzi] I made a nice pass and I’m just trying to get a good shot in,” said Iafallo.
Iafallo replaced the injured striker Arthur Kaliyev (unknown) in Los Angeles’ second power play session.
“Without Arthur, that hole needs to be filled, and I saw Alex throw a lot of pucks in practice once,” McLellan said. “He’s got those skills and he’s a pretty good fit for the job.”
Video: [email protected]: Schmaltz puts Coyotes ahead in the 1st period
The Coyotes are 4-1-1 in their last six home games. They played 20 of their first 24 games on the road as locker rooms were built in the new arena on Arizona State University’s campus.
“If you’ve spoken to everyone in the NHL, we should be dead by Christmas and we’re right there,” Tourigny said. “Sure, the tiredness was there. But now we have proven that we can keep going and be resilient.”
REMARKS: The Coyotes hadn’t won a shootout since February 22 at the Colorado Avalanche… Only one referee, Kyle Rehman, worked the game instead of the usual two due to travel delays caused by inclement weather in several parts of North America. … The Kings are 6-6 in overtime; the coyotes are 2-5. … Los Angeles had won seven straight Arizona games as of Jan. 30, 2020. … Brendan Lemieux, a Kings forward, had two goals and had two penalties in 6:39 after missing 19 games with a lower body injury. … Coyotes rookie forward Matthew Maccelli was restricted in the first period by a lower body injury and did not return. … Schmaltz has seven points (two goals, five assists) in a five-game scoring streak.