Coyotes
Kings
2 - 3 Final
  for this game

Late goal by Kopitar lifts Kings over Coyotes

Apr 8, 2007 - 12:33 AM
LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- While many National Hockey League teams are jockeying for playoff position, the Phoenix Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings were trying to avoid finishing last in the Western Conference.

Rookie Anze Kopitar scored during the 5-on-3 power play with 53 seconds remaining in the third period to give the Kings a 3-2 win over the Coyotes.

Playing their season finale, the Kings avoided falling into the basement in the West - a spot owned by the Coyotes, who have one game remaining but will finish last in the Pacific Division for the third consecutive season. Both teams failed to qualify for the playoffs for the fourth straight campaign.

"If you're not in the playoffs, it's embarrassing, but to be last is not something you want to be," Phoenix defenseman Nick Boynton said. "It's not something to be proud of. There are a lot of good guys in here, but it has to be better than that. It's not the way you want to finish out the year."

"It doesn't matter if you finish 28th, 29th or 17th," Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said. "If you're not in the top 16, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter who finishes ahead of who. We're all trying to compete to get in that 16 and get in the playoffs."

Trailing, 2-0, in the second period, the Kings got on the board with a shorthanded goal by Scott Thornton, who forced his way into the offensive zone and beat goaltender Curtis Joseph with a strong backhander at 11:43.

Michael Cammalleri tied the game less than three minutes later, beating Joseph with a high wrist shot from the right faceoff circle for his 34th of the season.

With 76 seconds remaining in the third, the Kings were given a 5-on-3 advantage and made it count as Kopitar notched his 20th goal by converting a centering pass from Alexander Frolov.

"It was a great pass," Kopitar said. "We actually did the same thing on a training camp exhibition play, so I don't know why he was waiting so long to get me the puck. He was waiting and I was almost 100 percent sure that the puck was going to make it across the crease. I was really ready, so when the puck came to me, I just fired it through."

"Anze Kopitar scored the first goal of the season and he scored the last goal of the season," Los Angeles coach Marc Crawford said. "He is going to score a lot more goals in a Kings uniform. Look at the power play that was out there with Dustin Brown, Michael Cammalleri, Anze Kopitar and (defenseman) Jack Johnson. That will form the nucleus of the Kings team."

Cammalleri also is optimistic about the Kings' future.

"We're going to better sooner than a lot of people might think," he said. "We're really excited about what can happen next year. It's not like it's impossible or it's Mount Everest. We know what it's going to take and we just need to all buy into it and have people that are willing to do it."

Defenseman Jaroslav Modry set up all three goals, Dustin Brown added two assists and Mathieu Garon made 24 saves for the Kings, who ended a six-game losing streak.

Joseph stopped 32 shots but remains two victories shy of tying Hall of Famer Terry Sawchuk (447) for fourth place on the all-time list.

Mike Zigomanis and defenseman Nick Boynton scored and blue-liner Keith Ballard had two assists for Phoenix, which has lost six of seven. Ballard left the game in the third period with what appeared to be a serious left leg injury.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHOENIX 1 1 0 2
    LOS ANGELES 0 2 1 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHO - MIKE ZIGOMANIS 14 (NICK BOYNTON, KEITH BALLARD) 17:39
    2ND PRD: PHO - (PP) NICK BOYNTON 2 (STEVEN REINPRECHT, KEITH BALLARD)
    7:10
    LOS - (SH) SCOTT THORNTON 7 (JAROSLAV MODRY, DUSTIN BROWN)
    11:43
    LOS - MICHAEL CA

    Apr 7 6:43 PM


  • NHL
    PHOENIX 2
    LOS ANGELES 3
    3RD PRD: LOS - (PP) ANZE KOPITAR 20 (ALEXANDER FROLOV, JAROSLAV MODRY)
    19:07

    Coyotes vs. KingsApr 7 6:38 PM
  • 17
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 48 roots

    Coyotes vs. KingsApr 7 6:38 PM
  • 65
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 65 roots

    Coyotes vs. KingsApr 7 6:25 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHOENIX 1 1 2
    LOS ANGELES 0 2 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHO - MIKE ZIGOMANIS 14 (NICK BOYNTON, KEITH BALLARD) 17:39
    2ND PRD: PHO - (PP) NICK BOYNTON 2 (STEVEN REINPRECHT, KEITH BALLARD)
    7:10
    LOS - (SH) SCOTT THORNTON 7 (JAROSLAV MODRY, DUSTIN BROWN)
    11:43
    LOS

    Apr 7 5:37 PM


  • NHL
    PHOENIX 2
    LOS ANGELES 2
    2ND PRD: LOS - MICHAEL CAMMALLERI 34 (JAROSLAV MODRY, DUSTIN BROWN)
    14:12

    Coyotes vs. KingsApr 7 5:26 PM


  • NHL
    PHOENIX 2
    LOS ANGELES 1
    2ND PRD: LOS - (SH) SCOTT THORNTON 7 (JAROSLAV MODRY, DUSTIN BROWN)
    11:43

    Coyotes vs. KingsApr 7 5:21 PM


  • NHL
    PHOENIX 2
    LOS ANGELES 0
    2ND PRD: PHO - (PP) NICK BOYNTON 2 (STEVEN REINPRECHT, KEITH BALLARD)
    7:10

    Coyotes vs. KingsApr 7 5:11 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHOENIX 1 1
    LOS ANGELES 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHO - MIKE ZIGOMANIS 14 (NICK BOYNTON, KEITH BALLARD) 17:39
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHO 9 9
    LOS 13 13
    GOALIES: PHO - CURTIS JOSEPH

    Apr 7 4:41 PM


  • NHL
    PHOENIX 1
    LOS ANGELES 0
    1ST PRD: PHO - MIKE ZIGOMANIS 14 (NICK BOYNTON, KEITH BALLARD) 17:39

    Coyotes vs. KingsApr 7 4:38 PM