Kings vs. Coyotes: Kings win in Phoenix, 4-3
It took an extraordinarily good individual effort Saturday to interrupt the Kings’ extraordinarily bad slump. Whether they can use it as a rallying point to end that slump is up to them.
Jarret Stoll flew through the air to backhand the rebound of a shot by Jack Johnson past Phoenix goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov at 4:57 of the third period, lifting the Kings to a 4-3 victory at Jobing.com Arena. Justin Williams, near the post, poked the puck out to Johnson, who took a blistering shot that apparently deflected off Ryan Smyth. The puck rolled through the crease and Bryzgalov, on his back, was helpless when Stoll lunged and scored on his backhand.
The Kings played a strong and assertive first period and built a 3-0 lead on goals by Williams, Drew Doughty and Alec Martinez. But the Coyotes crept closer and pulled even against Jonathan Quick at 18:17 of the second period as Lee Stempniak sandwiched a pair of goals around a goal by Martin Hanzal.
The Kings had lost their previous three games and 10 of their last 12, so it’s certainly premature to declare their troubles to be over. They were scoreless on three power plays, too, extending their drought to 0 for 22 over seven games.
But for a team in need of standings points as much as rallying points the triumph was welcome -- and a welcome change.
Check back for more at www.latimes.com/sports
Helene Elliott, in Glendale, Ariz.
Photo: Kings right wing Justin Williams scores against Phoenix and goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov in the first period Saturday night. Credit: Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press