The LA Kings earned another hard-fought victory and a big two points in the standings with a 3-2 win against the Coyotes on Wednesday. With the win, Todd McLellan’s club now occupies the third spot in the Pacific Division as Edmonton lost to Tampa Bay.


ARI: Clayton Keller (21), Assists: Nick Schmaltz (14), Janis Moser (6)

LAK: Blake Lizotte (7), Assists: Mikey Anderson (4), Brendan Lemieux (3)

LAK: Viktor Arvidsson (14), Assists: Phillip Danault (15), Trevor Moore (19)

ARI: Barrett Hayton (3), Assists: Vladislav Kolyachonok (1)

LAK: Viktor Arvidsson (15), Assists: Matt Roy (15), Trevor Moore (20)

1. Improved penalty kill?

For the majority of the season, the Kings have struggled mightily to kill off penalties. There was a period from mid-January to the end of the month where Los Angeles surrendered at least one power-play goal in six straight games.

Don’t look now, though, but LA has killed off their last 12-of-13 penalties, including two on Wednesday. Their most crucial kill came with under three minutes remaining in regulation holding a 3-2 lead when Adrian Kempe was tabbed for tripping. Arizona had 6-on-4 for a good chunk of it, and Alex Iafallo nearly potted an empty-netter.

2. Back-and-forth second period

Despite leading 20-7 in shots on goal, the LA Kings found themselves in a 1-0 hole after Clayton Keller burned Anze Kopitar on a give-and-go play at the 6:25 mark in the middle frame. And just like Saturday night, the visiting Kings responded quickly, just 18 seconds later off the stick of Blake Lizotte.

“Next line goes out there, I think it was Lizzo’s line again, they generally provide us with some energy & bring us back in,” McLellan said of the team’s quick response. “Tonight, they scored, which was tremendous, it kept us around. It could have got worse, but it kept us around.”

Less than a minute later, the MAD line took advantage of a Coyotes’ turnover in their own zone for a beautiful tic-tac-toe play, with Arvidsson burying his 14th goal of the season.

Arizona would later tie it on what looked like a deflection off Tobias Bjornfot‘s stick that got past Cal Petersen. The goal was credited to Barrett Hayton, just his third goal of the year. It was an unfortunate bounce, but Bjornfot has had a rough go of it lately, accounting for a -6 over his last seven games.

3. Arvidsson seals it

It took nearly 10 minutes for the Coyotes to register a shot in the third period, but it appeared to swing the momentum in their favor. So much that it felt like a matter of time before one of them went in.

However, Cal Petersen had other ideas, coming up with some huge saves down the stretch to keep the score tied and setting the stage for Viktor Arvidsson’s game-winning goal with 3:39 left in regulation.

”He’s obviously a shooter, he calls for the puck a lot, he wants the puck, he’s competitive and he just finds open ice,” Trevor Moore said of his linemate. “It’s just something that good goalscorers are able to do on a consistent basis. We’re fortunate.”

The play was set up with a stretch pass from Trevor Moore to a streaking Matt Roy, who dished the puck to Arvidsson after entering the offensive zone. From there, the Swedish forward dragged his way into the slot before firing a wrister past Scott Wedgewood.

The LA Kings are now 8-1-2 over their last 11 games, with a huge road game in Anaheim looming on Friday night.

Hockey Royalty Podcast Episode 52 – David Pagnotta

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