Coyotes dent Kings’ playoff hopes with 3-2 shootout win
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Arizona Coyotes aren’t going to make the playoffs this season. A shootout win over Los Angeles might help send their Pacific Division rival to the same fate.
Anthony DeAngelo and Brendan Perlini scored in an 11-round shootout, Louis Domingue made 44 saves and the Coyotes defeated the Kings 3-2 on Tuesday night.
Max Domi scored two goals for the Coyotes, who have won three consecutive games for the second time this season. Domi tied it 2-all with less than a minute left in regulation.
“This was a big game for them, so it was a big test for us,” DeAngelo said. “It helped us grow as a team. It was a good experience and good to get a win.”
Tyler Toffoli scored twice, including a power-play goal with 1:36 remaining that gave Los Angeles a 2-1 lead. Ben Bishop stopped 30 shots, but the Kings’ playoff chances were dealt a second major blow in two nights.
“It’s no good. We let one slip here,” Toffoli said. “We had the lead there and it’s one of those things where we have got to tighten up and find ways to bear down and lock it down. We let one slip.”
Toffoli converted a one-timer from Jeff Carter, only to see Domi tie it with 44.3 seconds left. Domi was alone at the edge of the crease and easily scored when a shot attempt by Shane Doan went wide and ended up serving as a perfect pass.
Derek Forbort had a chance to clear the puck for the Kings but couldn’t, setting the stage for a long shootout. Carter and Perlini converted in the first round before the next 19 skaters were denied.
“We played a good game and deserved better,” Bishop said. “Going to a shootout, obviously, anything can happen. We got a point. We’ve got to look at the positive here and try to keep moving forward and get as many points as we can.”
Los Angeles’ need to come away with two points increased dramatically after its 3-1 loss to St. Louis on Monday. Not only did the Blues extend their lead over the Kings for the second wild card in the Western Conference to five points, they have a more favorable schedule down the stretch.
The Kings will play nine teams currently in playoff position over their final 13 games, with five of those on the road, while the Blues face just four opponents set to reach the postseason before the season wraps up on April 9.
But that hunger didn’t necessarily manifest in the opening 20 minutes, as two offensive-zone penalties blunted the Kings. Dustin Brown’s breakaway represented the best scoring chance for the Kings, who had 11 shots and won 13 of 18 faceoffs in the sleepy first.
Toffoli snapped in the rebound of Jake Muzzin’s shot 5:03 into the second, giving the Kings a 1-0 lead seconds after Doan could have put the Coyotes ahead. Bishop never realized the puck was loose after stopping Doan’s initial backhand, and Alec Martinez alertly knocked it away to prevent the tap-in by Doan and lead to a break the other way.
Domi tied the game at 1 with 14:21 remaining in the third period. The Coyotes capitalized on Jarome Iginla’s turnover in the neutral zone, and Domi went under Bishop’s left leg with his shot.
The Kings were left grasping for positives to take away from their second loss to the hapless Coyotes, starting with the point that cut St. Louis’ lead to four. Toffoli had a standout offensive outing, breaking a seven-game goal drought, and Bishop delivered his best performance since being acquired from Tampa Bay.
But Toffoli summed up the reality of the situation Los Angeles faces.
“We need to win every game,” he said. “We need to get rolling here and find a way to bear down and get two points in all these games coming up.”
NOTES: Toffoli had a point for the third straight game. ... The Kings scratched D Brayden McNabb, with Kevin Gravel active for only the second time in the last seven games to take McNabb’s place. ... The Coyotes and Kings will conclude their four-game season series April 2 in Los Angeles.
Coyotes: Host the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday.
Kings: Host the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.