The LA Kings became the fourth team in NHL history to win eight consecutive road games to start a season, posting a 4-1 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Monday night at Mullett Arena in Tempe.
For the second game in a row, the Kings opened the scoring within the first three minutes of the game with a special teams goal, this is a short tally by forward Trevor Moore. Forward Phillip Danault threw Moore to the ice, with the Kings down a man, and Moore did the rest as he used his strength to hold off a backchecker before finishing across the grain for his eighth goal of the season.
Halfway through the first half, the visitors doubled their lead thanks to forward Anze Kopitar, who scored his team-leading ninth goal of the season. Forward Quinton Byfield intercepted an errant attempt to clear the slot, made a nimble move with his backhand and fed Kopitar at the back post for the goal. Byfield’s helper was his 12th of the season, putting him within one of the team lead.
After a second period in which Arizona had more puck possession but neither team scored for more than 15 minutes, Moore scored her second goal of the game to open a 3-0 lead. On a saucer pass attempt through the slot, Moore hit 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 it up. Kopitar on nine goals this season.
With just over a minute left in the second, the Coyotes got on the board to pull within two goals heading into the second intermission. Lawson Crouse’s shot from the point was stopped by Kings goalie Pheonix Copley, but forward Mattias Maccelli got a piece of the rebound to sneak 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 increase the lead to 4-1. Forward Alex Laferriere made a sneak move in the neutral zone to create space on the right wing, before feeding Danault in the slot, where he buried the three-goal lead, the final score of the night.
Hear from Moore, Copley and head coach Todd McLellan after tonight’s game.
On tonight’s win and the key to another road win
I think it’s just getting on with it. They anticipate a lot and make creative plays in the offensive zone, so I think at times we were a little more sloppy than we wanted, but we all stuck together and worked through it. Then on our offensive end, we did very well, so that was the key.
On how he felt the Kings limited Grade A, despite Arizona’s possession of the puck in the second period
For the most part, we kept them outside, they didn’t have much stuff inside. When they shot, we were there to clean up the rebounds and our play at the net was strong. That was key when they had those pushes, keeping them off the board and killing the momentum.
On a great night for the group on the penalty
I mean, first, we’re blocking a lot of shots and that’s huge. We’re taking away lanes, that was a really good PP, it was a good test for us and we did a really good job keeping them out. They’re trying to make plays, but we were killing everything, some big blocks and then obviously we cleaned the puck right after. I think we’ve stuck to keeping it simple and that leads to success.
About his focal points in practice, between outings and until today
I’ve been working a little more with [goaltending coach Mike Buckley]. I think to start the season, I’ve been a little inconsistent and I just wanted to give the guys a total of 60. I’ve worked a little more with the Bucks over the last week and a half and I think it helped clean up some things. I felt good tonight.
On his conclusions from tonight’s away victory
First, we won, so obviously we leave here very happy. Secondly, the penalty kill played a huge role in that, obviously we didn’t want to go down six times against that power play, no matter how powerful they were. I think Copley also played a big role in the game. Half of his shots came with the power pla and some nights when you don’t have everyone clicking the right way you need other people to step up and I thought we saw that in the Mooresy, Kev and Phil line this evening.
On turning to Pheonix Copley and seeing him get rewarded for the work he’s done
Absolutely. This was where things started for him and we focused on this game, we wanted him to get a good group effort, 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 game was really important. I know Mike Buckley, our goalkeeping coach, came in every day saying that he was playing very well, practicing well, that he was ready to play and obviously he was.
On the decision to center this game specifically on Copley
Yeah, the last time we were here, we started and went down, three very fast from the beginning. We had to pull him and it wasn’t necessarily about him. Since then our schedule has been spaced out, with a big break there, we headed to Talbot, so in the back of our minds, we were always thinking about playing him here again. Go back to, if you want to call it, the crime scene, but not necessarily his crime, our crime, and try to get the players as a whole to answer for him or him to answer to them.
On the shorthanded goal and what it meant for the group at the beginning of the first half
I thought there was going to be a psychological factor in this game. After the last game we played here, where they had the lead and we came back, both coaches are probably saying “hey, if we fix one part, it will be important.” So for us to score early on because of their power play, which they rely on a lot, I think that psychologically helped us go on the right path. Then stuff it with two, but after that our power play was very sloppy and we almost let them back into those situations.
On limiting Grade A opportunities on a night when the team had fewer attempts
Some of them came thanks to the momentum they had on the power play. There they gained momentum. Yeah, they didn’t score, but when you get those kinds of touches, where you tire out the opponent like they did to us, tiring us out in the defensive zone, it makes you feel pretty good, but we took some specific lanes away. We had some reads we had to make and we made them and we got timely whistles, either sometimes just a cherry or a freeze, just to slow down and regroup. I think that’s part of playing away from home 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 tally was the ninth shorthanded goal of his career, the most of any Kings skater since his debut with the team on Feb. 8, 2020. Moore also tied TJ Oshie and Brandon Saad ranks ninth for most foul goals among active Americans. 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 has scored 100 points in his career (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 and WSH), Alex Ovechkin (CAR, TBL and PIT) and Evgeni Malkin. (PHI, JNI)
– Phillip Danault (1-1=2) had his fourth goal and eighth assist of the season, extending his assist and point streak to three games (1-3=4). It’s Danault’s second multi-point game of the season (1-2=3, Oct. 17, 2023 vs. WPG).
Quinton Byfield (0-1=1) recorded 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 Stutzle Ottawa’s (16) has the most assists this season among skaters selected in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.
– Alex Laferriere (0-1=1) recorded his second assist and fourth point of the season for his first career point against the Arizona Coyotes.
– Drew Doughty skated in the 1,112th game of his career with the Kings, surpassing Dave Taylor (1,111) for third most games played in franchise history.
– Pheonix Copley stopped 30 of 31 shots to secure its first road win of the season.
– The Kings won in their eighth road game of the season, improving their road record to 8-0-0 on the year. With their victory, the Kings are just the fourth team in NHL history to win each of their first eight road games to start a season: 2006-07 Buffalo Sabers (10 GP), 2009-10 New Jersey Devils ( 9 GP) and 2018. -19 Nashville Predators (8 GP).
The Kings have a day off scheduled for tomorrow and will return to the ice for practice Wednesday at 11 a.m. at the Toyota Sports Performance Center.
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