Game 36: Kings Lose 3-1, fall to 20-13-3
GLENDALE, Ariz. – The Los Angeles Kings have seemed to turn making 40 shots into a common occurrence. Unfortunately, that doesn’t guarantee any wins as Los Angeles fell short to the Phoenix Coyotesby a 3-1 score ending their five-game road trip on a sour note.
The story of this game was a former King as Phoenix netminder Jason Labarbera was outstanding stopping 39 of 40 shots to lead his team to victory. With the loss, Los Angeles (while they still win the season series) falls to 3-2-0 against their rivals from the desert.
Keith Yandle, whose name has been linked to trade rumours in rcent days, opened the scoring 11:02 into the game but the Kings answered right back as Justin Williams extended his goal-scoring streak to four games just 1:10 later.
After a Matthew Lombardi backhand supplied the only goal of the second, Phoenix put the final nail in the coffin late in the third as Keith Yandle scored his second of the night to put the Coyotes up 3-1 and that’s how it ended.
But the big story on this night was the goaltender. Having faced 31 shots, Jonathan Quick did play admirably turning away 28 but it was his counterpart who was the better of the two netminders. Jason Labarbera stuck to his old team by frustrating them from start to finish. The win was a crucial one for the Coyotes as they return to .500 on the season and just two points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.
As for the Kings, it’s a slight setback but remain fifth in the West as they prepare to return home Thursday night where they will play host to the Minnesota Wild and furthermore anticipate the debut of their newest acquisition, defenseman Robyn Regehr.