The Los Angeles Kings became the fourth team in NHL history to win eight straight road games to open a season, as they posted a 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes, Monday night at Mullett Arena in Tempe.
For the second straight game, the Kings opened the scoring in the first three minutes of the game with a special teams goal, thanks to a short-handed goal from forward Trevor Moore. Forward Phillip Danault powered Moore up the ice, with the Kings down a man, and Moore did the rest, using his strength to hold off a miss before finishing through the grain for his eighth goal of the season.
Just before the halfway point of the first period, the visitors doubled their advantage thanks to forward Anze Kopitar, who scored his team-best ninth goal of the season. Forward Quinton Byfield spotted an errant clearing attempt in the slot, made a nimble move to his backhand and fed Kopitar at the far post for the goal. Byfield’s assist was his 12th of the season, putting him one of the team leads.
After a second period in which Arizona had more possession of the puck, but neither team scored for more than 15 minutes, Moore scored his second goal of the game to open a 3-0 advantage. After an attempted saucer pass through the slot, Moore knocked the puck out of the air, put it in shooting position and fired a wrist shot over the blocking side of Arizona goaltender Connor Ingram, as he tied Kopitar at nine goals this season.
With just over a minute left in the second period, the Coyotes got on the board to get back within two goals heading into the second intermission. Lawson Crouse’s shot from the point was stopped by Kings goaltender Pheonix Copley, but forward Mattias Maccelli collected part of the rebound to slide the puck into the net for his fourth goal of the season, bringing the score to 3-1.
As the third period progressed, the Kings got an insurance goal from forward Phillip Danault, who scored his fourth goal of the season to make it 4-1. Forward Alex Laferrière made a sneaky move in the neutral zone to create space on the right wing, before serving Danault in the slot, where he buried it to take a three-goal lead, the final score of the evening.
Hear from Moore, Copley and head coach Todd McLellan after tonight’s game.
On tonight’s victory and the key to another road victory
I think it’s just about sticking with it. They fail hard and make creative plays in the offensive zone, so I think at times we were a little more sloppy than we wanted to be, but we all stayed together and worked on it. Then on the offensive end we did really well, so that was key.
On how he felt the Kings were limiting A grades, despite Arizona having the puck in the second period
For the most part we kept them outside, they didn’t put a lot of stuff inside. When they were shooting, we were there cleaning up rebounds and our net play was solid. That was the key when they were doing those pushes, to keep them off the board and kind of kill the momentum.
During a great evening of the group on the penalty
I mean, first of all, we block a lot of shots and that’s huge. We’re taking out lanes, it was a really good PP, it was a good test for us and we did a really good job of keeping them out. They were trying to make plays, but we were killing everything, some big blocks, and then obviously we cleared the puck right after. I think we stick to keeping things simple and that’s what leads to success.
On his focal points in practice, between starts, until today
I did a little extra work with (goalkeeping coach Mike Buckley). I think early in the season I was a little inconsistent and just wanted to give the guys here a full score of 60. I’ve been doing some extra work with the Bucks over the last week and a half or so and I think that helped clean up some things. I felt good tonight.
What he remembers from tonight’s victory on the road
First of all, we won, so we’re leaving here obviously very happy. Secondly, the penalty played a very important role in this, obviously we didn’t want to lose six times to this power play, as powerful as it was. I think Copley played a big role in the match as well. Half of their shots came on the power pla and some nights when everyone isn’t clicking the right way you need other individuals to step up and I thought we saw that from Mooresy’s line , Kev and Phil tonight.
Turning to Pheonix Copley and seeing him rewarded for the work he has done
Absolutely. That’s kind of where things started for him and we targeted this game, we wanted him to get a good effort from the group, so they could play well in front of him and get him back to where he needed to be. All the work he did before the match was really important. I know Mike Buckley, our goalkeeping coach, was coming in every day to say he was playing really well, he was training well, he was ready to play and obviously he was.
On the decision to target this game specifically for Copley
Yeah, last time we were here we started and we went down, three really fast from the start. We had to remove him and it wasn’t necessarily his fault. Since that time our schedule has been spaced out, there’s been a big break there, we’ve been managing Talbot, so in the back of our minds we were always thinking about getting him to play here again. Let’s go back, if you want to call it, to the crime scene, but not necessarily his crime, our crime, and try to get the players as a whole to answer for him.
On the shorthanded goal and what it brought to the group at the start of the first period
I thought there would be a psychological factor in this match. After the last game we played here, where they took the lead and we came back, both coaches probably said “hey, if we just fix one game, it’ll be big.” So, that we scored from the start on their numerical advantage, which they rely on a lot, I think that helped us psychologically to go in the right direction. Then we added two players, but after that our power play was very sloppy and we almost let them back into those situations.
On limiting Grade A chances on a night where the team had fewer attempts
Some of them came because of the momentum they had on the power play. There, they gained momentum. Yes, they didn’t score, but when you get those kind of touches, where you tire the opponent out like they were for us, tiring us out in the defensive zone, it makes you feel good, but we took some specific pathways further. We had to make some reads and we made them and we got some timely whistles, whether it was sometimes just an icing or a freeze, just to slow down and regroup. I think that’s part of playing on the road and having a veteran team.
– Trevor Moore (2-0=2) recorded his team-leading second multi-goal game of the season, with his eighth and ninth goals of the season. Moore has now recorded a point in each of his last three games against the Coyotes (3-1=4), dating back to October 24, 2023.
– Moore’s first-period total was his ninth career shorthanded goal, the most among any Kings skater since he debuted with the team on February 8, 2020. Moore also tied TJ Oshie and Brandon Saad for the ninth shorthanded goal among American assets. born skaters.
– Anze Kopitar (1-0=1) scored his ninth goal of the season, extending his point streak to three games (2-1=3). With this goal, Kopitar collected 100 career points (31-69=100; regular season and playoffs) against the Coyotes franchise. According to NHL PR, Kopitar becomes the fourth active skater with 100+ points against a single franchise (regular season and playoffs), joining Sidney Crosby (PHI, NYI, NYR & WSH), Alex Ovechkin (CAR, TBL & PIT) and Evgeny Malkin. (PHI, JNI)
– Phillip Danault (1-1=2) collected his fourth goal and eighth assist of the season, extending his streak of assists and points to three games (1-3=4). This is Danault’s second multipoint match of the season (1-2=3, October 17, 2023 against WPG).
Quinton Byfield (0-1=1) collected his 12th assist of the season, extending his point streak against the Arizona Coyotes to a fourth game (1-4=5) dating back to February 18, 2023. Only Tim Ottawa’s Stutzle (16) has the most assists this season among skaters selected in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.
– Alex Laferrière (0-1=1) collected his second assist and fourth point of the season for his first career point against the Arizona Coyotes.
– Drew Doughty played in his 1,112th career game with the Kings, passing Dave Taylor (1,111) for the third-most games played in franchise history.
– Pheonix Copley stopped 30 of 31 shots to secure his first road victory of the season.
– The Kings won in their eighth road game of the season, improving their road record to 8-0-0 this year. With their victory, the Kings are only the fourth team in NHL history to win each of their first eight road games to start a season: Buffalo Sabers in 2006-2007 (10 games), New York Devils Jersey in 2009-2010 (9 games) and 2018. -19 Nashville Predators (8 GP).
The Kings have a scheduled team day off tomorrow and will return to the ice to practice at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Toyota Sports Performance Center.
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