The Los Angeles Kings recovered well from a heartbreaking loss to the Calgary Flames and beat the Phoenix Coyotes at home on Thursday night. The final was score was 7 to 4, but the game was tight into the 3rd period. The game consisted of dominate stretches for both teams as the Kings jumped out to a 4 to 0 lead only to see the Coyotes tie the game up in the 3rd period. LA then responded well pulling off 3 unanswered goals with Dwight King’s hat trick capping it off. The Kings came out with a different attitude and jumped on the Coyotes quickly, but there are still things the Kings need to improve on. There are more positives than negatives to take from this high scoring win.
The first positive to take from this game is that the offense is finally starting to click and that is partly due to coach Darryl Sutter switching up the lines before the game.
Dwight King was placed with Justin Williams and Anze Kopitar and resulted in 4 goals from that line. Dwight never had a multi goal game in his career until last night as his goals were vital in the Kings victory. King’s season high in goals is only 5 and he is surely going to surpass that total in the coming games. King was in the right spot at the right time and was fed continually by Kopitar. That leads me to the second positive which is that the centers finally scored for the Kings as both Kopitar and Mike Richards scored their first goals of the season.
Richards goal was vital as it broke the tie at 4 and was a shorthanded goal. The third positive of the night was that everyone got involved as more than half of the team had a point in the game. Newly acquired winger Matt Frattin finally scored his first goal of the season, the sixth goal of the game for the Kings. The Kings are so dangerous offensively and were able to show it against the Coyotes.
Los Angeles did score 7 goals, but also conceded 4 from a Coyotes team that was playing from behind the whole night. This is not the first time the Kings let a big lead slip away as they blew a 3 goal lead at home versus the Senators only to pull out the victory in overtime. Second, the Kings had a high amount of giveaways once again as they lost the puck 12 times. LA was resilient enough to score 3 unanswered goals in the 3rd, but need to learn to put away teams.
The 7 goals scored by the Kings last night are the most ever in the Darryl Sutter era. Sutter seems to be making all the right changes right now as he inserted Daniel Carcillo into the team just a few games ago and now got the most out of Dwight King by putting him on the top line with Williams and Kopitar. Obviously, King will not be scoring 3 goals a game but he will be contributing more night in and night out. The defense still needs to improve and with a coach like Sutter that should happen sooner than later. The Kings will finish their 4 game home stand on Sunday as they host the Edmonton Oilers.