LOS ANGELES (AP) — Carl Grundstrom tipped home the tiebreaking goal with 6:05 to play and the Los Angeles Kings overcame a two-goal deficit in the third period to beat the Arizona Coyotes 4-3 on Wednesday night.
Adrian Kempe and Jeff Carter scored early in the third period to even it for the Kings, who snapped their three-game skid with the comeback. Grundstrom and Trevor Moore both redirected Drew Doughty’s hard shot through traffic, with Grundstrom getting credit for his fifth goal of the season.
After the Kings held on for just their second win in eight games, coach Todd McLellan praised his team for “stay(ing) with it, especially with the mood around the team lately. It hasn’t been the best, because we haven’t won as much as we’d like to.
“We’ve tried to keep guys up,” he added. “Falling behind wasn’t something we wanted to do, but certainly coming back makes at least this night feel better, and should give us some confidence moving forward.”
Jonathan Quick made 24 saves and Jaret Anderson-Dolan scored an early goal for the Kings. Doughty, Moore and Kale Clague had two assists apiece.
“We weren’t ready to back down,” Clague said. “I’m really happy for everyone to get back own the winning track, and I know we all just want to carry that over into the weekend.”
Ilya Lyubushkin scored his first NHL goal and Lawson Crouse had a goal and an assist for the Coyotes, who lost for only the second time in eight games after playing well in the first two periods at Staples Center, where they won 5-2 on Monday.
“We took our foot off the gas,” Crouse said. “I think we thought it was going to be easy, and in this league, you can’t do that. We started getting beat up the ice. We weren’t tying up sticks. It’s sour. These are the games that keep you up at night.”
Johan Larsson also scored, and Adin Hill stopped 26 shots in his eighth consecutive start for Arizona.
“We needed some of our really good players to really lock it down,” Arizona coach Rick Tocchet said. “I know we’re disappointed. We gave it away, and we’ve got to learn from it. … Nothing really changed in the third. We just had some individuals that made some mistakes.”
After Crouse opened the scoring with his first goal on the road this season, Lyubushkin finally got his first goal in his 118th NHL game. The 27-year-old Russian defenseman who joined the Coyotes in 2018 hammered home a long rebound off Crouse’s shot.
Anderson-Dolan trimmed the lead when his partially blocked shot fluttered past a screened Hill late in the first, but Larsson redirected Jakob Chychrun’s shot in front early in the second to extend Arizona’s lead.
Kempe converted a slick give-and-go with Clague moments after a Kings penalty expired early in the third period. Carter then ended his seven-game goal drought, redirecting Doughty’s shot and tying it with 15:43 to play.
Doughty, who criticized his teammates’ intensity and competitive fire after Monday’s blowout loss to Arizona, logged more than 28 minutes of ice time in his eighth multi-point game of the season.
“Well, that’s called leadership,” McLellan said. “You put yourself out there with your words and then you follow it up through actions, and we’re fortunate to have him.”
VILARDI OUT, LEMIEUX IN
Slumping forward Gabriel Vilardi was a healthy scratch for the Kings after playing in all of their previous 37 games. Vilardi hasn’t scored a goal in 16 consecutive games since March 3, and coach Todd McLellan said he hoped the break would give him a fresh start.
Brendan Lemieux made his debut for Los Angeles, which acquired him in a trade with the Rangers on March 27.
Los Angeles captain Anze Kopitar played in his 1,111th game for the Kings, matching Dave Taylor for the second-most in franchise history.
Only teammate Dustin Brown has suited up more times for the Kings than Kopitar, the two-time Selke Trophy winner and two-time Stanley Cup champion.
Taylor drafted Kopitar as the Kings’ general manager in 2005, and he was coincidentally in Staples Center to witness the milestone as a scout for St. Louis.
Coyotes: At Vegas on Friday and Sunday.
Kings: At San Jose on Friday and Saturday.
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