King's hat trick helps LA past Coyotes
Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Dwight King notched his first career hat trick to lead the Los Angeles Kings to a 7-4 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday at Staples Center.
King scored twice in LA's four-goal first period, but the Coyotes countered with four straight goals to even the score early in the third.
The Coyotes seemed poised to pull in front when Jake Muzzin was sent off for slashing at 3:31 of the third, but Mike Richards came up with a steal in the neutral zone and sped in on a breakaway before stuffing a backhand past the left pad of Thomas Greiss to give the Kings a 5-4 edge at 4:19.
Matt Frattin then added a tip-in tally before King capped his hat trick with an empty-netter to help Los Angeles secure its third win in four games.
Anze Kopitar registered a goal and two assists, Jordan Nolan scored once, and Jonathan Quick stopped 24-of-28 shots in the victory.
Martin Hanzal potted a pair of goals and Jeff Halpern and Shane Doan both scored once for the Coyotes, who had their point streak snapped at seven games.
Mike Smith allowed four goals on 15 shots in the first period before being replaced by Greiss, who turned away 20 shots over the final 40 minutes.
A holding penalty against Antoine Vermette just 21 seconds into the game set up LA's first goal, as Kopitar came up with a rebound in the left circle and wristed a shot past Smith to make it 1-0 less than a minute in.
King's first of the night came at the 4:17 mark when he beat Smith with a wrister from the right circle and after Nolan found the back of the net with a wrister at 10:14, King tipped in Robyn Regehr's blast from the left point to give LA a 4-0 cushion with 2:04 left in the first.
The Coyotes cut the margin in half with a pair of goals in the second, as Halpern lit the lamp at 10:27 before Hanzal threw a backhand on net from below the goal line that snuck past Quick to make it 4-2 with 5:38 left.
Hanzal added a power-play marker 1:51 into the third to trim the deficit to one before Doan came up with a loose puck in the LA zone, wheeled around in the high slot, and fired a low shot that slipped past Quick's right pad to tie the game at 2:50.
King hadn't scored more than one goal in any game coming into the contest ... The last time LA scored four goals in a period was Mar. 5, 2013, against the St. Louis Blues ... Coyotes center Mike Ribeiro had his seven-game point streak snapped ... Kopitar halted a 26-game scoreless drought, the longest of his career ... Phoenix finished 1-for-4 on the power play.
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