GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Alex Iafallo scored 24 seconds into overtime, completing his first NHL hat trick and lifting the Los Angeles Kings to a 3-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes that ended their five-game losing streak Thursday night.
Iafallo tied the game with 2:54 left in regulation, then won it moments later. Jack Campbell stopped 26 shots and Anze Kopitar assisted on two goals for the Kings, who got their second win of the month.
“Big win for the boys. We definitely needed that one,” Iafallo said. “We’ve got to clean up some things but it’s a huge win for us and we’re excited for the next game.”
Christian Dvorak gave the Coyotes a 2-1 lead with 56 seconds left in the second period, and Nick Schmaltz also scored for Arizona. But the Coyotes lost their fourth straight and are 1-5-2 in their last eight games.
The Kings scored at 8:37 of the first period when the Coyotes couldn’t clear the puck out of their defensive zone. Ben Hutton backhanded a pass to an open Iafallo, whose shot evaded goalie Adin Hill on his stick side.
“I think his game speaks for itself. He was all over the puck, he was sharp when he shot it,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “Needed help, though, and his teammates did a real good job, (Dustin) Brown and (Anze) Kopitar, at creating for him. Obviously, we’re really excited for him. He’s played really well all year but particular since Christmas.”
Phil Kessel hit the post with a shot during the Coyotes’ lone power play of the first period, and Michael Grabner missed an open look after a Kings turnover in their own zone.
Kessel took a hard hit from Derek Forbort early in the third and was slow to get up. Kessel was taken back to the dressing room but returned shortly thereafter.
Arizona defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson used his stick to impede the progress of Austin Wagner early in the second period, and Wagner was awarded a penalty shot. He missed it high and wide.
Ekman-Larsson, the Coyotes’ captain, headed to the dressing room with a lower-body injury late in the second after colliding with Brown. Ekman-Larsson didn’t return, and coach Rick Tocchet didn’t have an update on his status after the game.
Again the Coyotes missed a chance to draw even when Campbell came out of the net to stop Taylor Hall’s wrister off a 2-on-1 at 6:06 of the second.
The Coyotes finally tied it with Schmaltz’s wrist shot that got by Campbell at 11:22, a moment after the end of an Arizona power play. Schmaltz raised his team-leading point total to 38.
“You’re going to find adversity throughout the season and right know we’re hitting it,” Tocchet said. “But I thought we played a pretty good game … we’ve just got to stick with it.”
NOTES: The Coyotes issued a statement after reports surfaced about the team being investigated by the NHL for allegations of physical testing of draft prospects. The club said it was aware of the reports and had discussed the issue with the NHL, with no further comment. … Los Angeles D Drew Doughty missed his second straight game due to injury. Doughty’s streak of 460 consecutive games played ended Wednesday night in the Kings’ loss at home to Tampa Bay. … The Coyotes played a pregame video tribute to the nine victims of Sunday’s helicopter crash that killed former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. Fans were asked to light up Gila River Arena with their phones. … Coyotes All-Star G Darcy Kuemper was scratched with a lower-body injury and hasn’t played since Dec. 19. He’s been practicing and could return as soon as Saturday against Chicago.
Kings: Host the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night.
Coyotes: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night.
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