Vejmelka gets first win, Coyotes knock off Kings 2-1 in OT
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kyle Capobianco scored with 1:34 remaining in overtime, Karel Vejmelka stopped 37 shots for his first career win and the Arizona Coyotes defeated the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 on Sunday night.
Travis Boyd had a goal and an assist for the Coyotes, who have won consecutive games for the first time this season. On Saturday night at home, Clayton Keller scored 25 seconds into overtime to give the Coyotes a 2-1 comeback victory over Detroit.
“We know we’re not out of games,” Capobianco said. “We’re just sticking with our systems right now, wearing teams down and coming back in the third. And I think that just shows how committed we are to our systems and sticking with it.”
Brendan Lemieux scored for the Kings, who have lost four straight following a seven-game winning streak. Jonathan Quick had 25 saves.
“No finish on our behalf,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “Two-on-ones, breakaways, staring at the goaltender, open nets. Opportunities were there, but no finish.”
Capobianco won it with a wrist shot from the right circle, striking the crossbar on his second goal of the season. There wasn’t an initial call from the on-ice officials, and the Kings took the puck down the ice believing the game was still going.
“My heart kind of skipped a beat there, and I just tried to skate as hard as I could back. Luckily, it was in, and we could celebrate after that,” Capobianco said.
Keller had the primary assist, becoming the fourth player in franchise history to get a point in overtime in back-to-back games.
In addition to seeing Arizona improve to 3-0-1 in its past four games, it gave Vejmelka the win the team had been so desperate to reward him with. He had been 0-9-1 in 12 previous games this season.
“We felt for him a little bit because he was so good early in the year, was by far our best player, and we could not score the big goal,” Arizona coach André Tourigny said. “He was doing miracles, but we could not get the goal to make him get a reward.”
Vejmelka was busy throughout the game, stopping several breakaways and other rushes as the Kings peppered him with shots. Lemieux’s blistering shot on a one-timer in the right circle from Blake Lizotte at 5:38 of the second period was his lone blemish.
“I had to wait for my first win in the NHL, so it was a big experience for me. It’s a big night. I made a couple good saves that my team needed sometimes, and it’s just about playing my best,” Vejmelka said.
Arizona tied it 1-all at 4:44 of the third period on Boyd’s third goal. He was at the edge of the crease to tap in Shayne Gostisbehere’s centering pass.
Los Angeles was also playing the second game of a back-to-back, coming off a frenetic 5-4 loss to Carolina on Saturday.
McLellan felt the Kings created just as many quality scoring opportunities but failed to put them in the net.
“Tonight is a frustrating night because of the amount of chances that we created,” McLellan said. “We’d probably be talking a different story if we had some finish, but we didn’t so tonight’s a tough one to evaluate. The chances were there, so it’s disappointing.”
NOTES: Vejmelka’s 37 saves were the most in franchise history by a goalie to get his first win. Daniel Berthiaume made 36 on November 4, 1986 for the Winnipeg Jets. ... It was the eighth time in franchise history winning consecutive overtime games. ... Keller had two assists. He has one goal and three assists during a three-game point streak. … Coyotes F Jay Beagle did not return after sustaining a lower-body injury in the first period. Tourigny did not update his status after the game.
Coyotes: Host Edmonton on Wednesday night.
Kings: Host Toronto on Wednesday night.
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