Kings at Coyotes: Split-Scrimmage Game 1


The Los Angeles Kings and Arizona Coyotes have split wins between split-squad pre-season games on Monday night.  One game took place in Arizona, one in Los Angeles.

It’s the second time in two weeks that the Kings and Coyotes have split games.  During rookie training camp the teams played two exhibition games, the Coyotes winning the first game 4-1; the Kings winning the second 3-1.

The first game of Monday night’s double-feature of split-scrimmage games started in Arizona at 7:00 p.m.  Arizona struck first with a backhand goal by Henrik Samuelsson.  Henrik is the son of two-time Stanley Cup winner, and current New York Ranger assistant coach Ulf Samuelsson.  The Kings fired back, scoring the next three goals.  Tanner Pearson, Nic Dowd and Mike Richards all tallied for the Kings.

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  • The second period was all Coyotes.  Halfway through the period Jeff Carter took a four-minute penalty for high-sticking Martin Hanzel and drawing blood.  A minute into the ensuing powerplay Hanzel got revenge putting the puck past Patrik Bartosak.  The Kings killed off Carter’s second minor penalty, but thirty seconds later Colin Miller took a minor penalty that put the Kings down a man again.  Hanzel scored his second goal of the night to tie the game.  Both of Hanzel’s goals were assisted by Henrik Sameulsson and Max Domi, the son of the infamous Maple Leaf enforcer Tie Domi.  The Coyotes newly acquired Sam Gagner scored late in the period to make it 4-3 Coyotes.

    The third period saw some tempers flair.  B.J. Crombeen of the Coyotes took a holding penalty that came with a ten-minute misconduct after some shoving and jawing in front of the Kings net.  Crombeen’s penalty put the Kings on a two-minute powerplay, and Mike Richards scored his second goal of the night to tie the game.  Tanner Pearson and Jeff Carter added the assists, giving them two each on the night.

    After a stalemate in overtime the game was decided in a shootout.  Carter and Richards shot for the Kings and neither were able to convert.  Samuelsson and Domi both scored to seal the deal for the Coyotes.

    Kings goaltenders split time during the game.  Jean-Francois Berube played the first half of the game, recording 15 saves on 16 shots for a .938 save percentage.  Patrik Bartosak played the second half of the game allowing 3 goals on 21 shots for a .857 save percentage, not including shots faced in the shootout.

    Mike Richards spoke about the loss after the game: “We battled back.  We had a good start.  Penalty trouble in the second, which obviously we’ve got to stay away from.  But battled back in the third, and the young kid made some big saves in the third to keep us in it.  Obviously a shootout can go either way.”

    Hopefully this is a good sign of things to come for Mike Richards and Tanner Pearson.  Richards scored two goals and Pearson had a goal and two assists.  Pearson hasn’t slowed down since his impressive performance at the end of the 2013-2014 regular season and the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  That 70’s line of Carter, Toffoli and Pearson are continuing to show off their dominance: the three combined for seven points in the game.  Richards has been criticized because of his reduced point production last season.  If this game is any indication that he’s been working and preparing for the upcoming season, it’s good news for Kings fans, and scary news for the rest of the league.  It’s one indication that the Kings could be even stronger than they were last season.

    Sep 22, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards (10) passes the puck as Arizona Coyotes right wing Jordan Szwarz (21) defends during the third period at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports