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After two periods: Coyotes 6, Kings 3

December 29, 2010 |  8:00 pm

The Kings, who entered the game with a 2.20 goals-against average that ranked second in the NHL, gave up four goals in the first period to the Coyotes, who had scored a total of four in their previous four games. Phoenix scored those goals on 12 shots at Jonathan Quick, wreaking havoc on the Kings’ .920 team save percentage.

It was wacky, it was wild, it was a parade of ugly defensive plays in every form imaginable.

And it got worse, with the Kings facing a 6-3 deficit after two periods at Arena.

Shane Doan began the scoring parade at 5:31, after Jack Johnson couldn’t handle a rolling puck in his own zone following a pass from Drew Doughty. Scottie Upshall took it away and passed across to Doan, who scored on the Coyotes’ fourth shot of the game.

The Kings matched that at 7:39. Kevin Westgarth took a long shot — think somewhere in the neighborhood of Scottsdale — and Anze Kopitar got a piece of it. The puck squirted through Ilya Bryzgalov’s pads and was tapped over the goal line by Brad Richardson.

The Coyotes took a 2-1 lead at 9:20, when Ray Whitney got behind Johnson and had an open right side to deposit a pass from Keith Yandle. The Kings again pulled even, this time when Ryan Smyth deflected a shot by Doughty from the top of the circle at 11:24, but the Coyotes had an answer for that tooas Upshall skated in deep on the left side and scored over a sprawling Quick to give Phoenix a 3-2 lead at 12:16.

The Coyotes extended their lead to 4-2 at 15:34, during a power play, on a redirection by Brett MacLean for his first NHL goal in his first NHL game.

The Kings made it a one-goal game again at 16:07. Kopitar controlled the puck and came out from behind the net before throwing it toward Bryzgalov. Before it got to the goalie it caromed off Marco Sturm’s back and into the net.

The pace slowed in the second period, but only barely. Phoenix scored on a power play at 6:11, with  Doan going to one knee, and again at 10:03, on a long shot by Kyle Turris. That was all for Quick, who was replaced by Jonathan Bernier after giving up a half-dozen goals on 18 shots.

Bernier had already been told that he would start at home on Thursday against the Philadelphia Flyers, and it’s not clear if his unexpected appearance will change Coach Terry Murray’s plans or if he will start anyway.

More from Arena later, at
-- Helene Elliott, in Glendale, Ariz.