Kings vs. Coyotes: Ilya Bryzgalov, Phoenix shut out the Kings
In a listless effort that included six fruitless power plays, the Kings extended their latest losing streak to three games with a 2-0 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes before an unhappy Staples Center crowd that booed them off the ice. The Kings have lost five of their last six games and 10 of 12 since Dec. 29.
The Kings outshot the Coyotes, 36-15, but rarely pressured goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov as he recorded his third shutout this season. The Kings are 0 for 19 on the power play in their last six games, an unlikely streak for a team that had success on the power play late last season with defensemen Jack Johnson and Drew Doughty blasting away from the points that they can’t duplicate this season.
The Kings got a bad break Thursday on the Coyotes’ first goal, a play that was reviewed at length by the NHL’s hockey operations department in Toronto to determine if Martin Hanzal had knocked the puck into the net with his stick above the height of the crossbar.
Ray Whitney’s initial shot was stopped by goaltender Jonathan Quick but the puck popped up in the air. Hanzal, on the backhand, grazed the puck with the heel of his stick. Kings defenseman Matt Greene swatted at it with his right hand but appeared to miss the fluttering puck before it eluded Quick at 8:48.
Referees Steve Kozari and Justin St. Pierre signaled a goal but the play was automatically reviewed in Toronto and the call was upheld.
“Refs on the ice had it a goal,” Mike Murphy, the NHL’s vice president of hockey operations, said via email. “We felt the views we had were not conclusive to overrule the refs call on the ice.”
Merely 57 seconds later the Coyotes scored again, on a quick transition.
A shot by Kings center Michal Handzus hit Bryzgalov high on the chest and almost rolled over his shoulder and behind him, but the puck was cleared and Lee Stempniak, skating up the right side on a two-on-one break, snapped a shot past Quick from about 30 feet.
Photo: Coyotes goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov watches the puck go into the corner as Kings winger Dustin Brown is knocked into the crease by defenseman Derek Morris in the second period Thursday night at Staples Center. Credit: Harry How/Getty Images