Coyotes
Kings
4 - 2 Final
  for this game

Bryzgalov continues dominance of Kings

Dec 9, 2007 - 7:46 AM
By Craig Shultz PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- The Los Angeles Kings still cannot beat Ilya Bryzgalov.

Defenseman Keith Ballard snapped a tie with 7:44 remaining in the third period and Bryzgalov made 22 saves to remain perfect against Los Angeles while with his new team as the Phoenix Coyotes skated past the Kings, 4-2, on Saturday.

Mathias Tjarnqvist, Radim Vrbata and captain Shane Doan also tallied and Fredrik Sjostrom collected three assists for the Coyotes, who snapped a four-game road losing streak.

Since being claimed off waivers from Anaheim on November 17, Bryzgalov has faced the Kings four times, winning each time while allowing just four goals on 110 shots.

"It just happens," Bryzgalov said. "I don't think about my record against any team. I step on the ice and try to play and try to win the game."

"He's been great for us," Doan said. "The games where we've needed him to be big, he's been big. It's awful nice having him back there."

Kings rookie defenseman Jack Johnson cannot understand his team's lack of success against Bryzgalov and the Coyotes.

"I don't think we're sitting here thinking we have to beat Bryzgalov. We're thinking we have to beat Phoenix," Johnson said. "Obviously, he's been great for them. He's helped turn them around. I don't think he's in our heads, though."

With Phoenix clinging to a 2-1 lead midway through the third, Brian Willsie passed the puck in front of the net, where Kyle Calder stopped it with his skate. Michal Handzus skated in behind Calder and flipped it past Bryzgalov at 10:39, knotting the contest.

The Coyotes regained the advantage less than two minutes later, however, as Doan dished from behind the net to Ballard, who beat goaltender Jean-Sebastien Aubin to the stick side with a wrist shot from the slot for his third tally of the season and a 3-2 edge.

"It was a big shift after they scored," Doan said. "We wanted to get something back. (Rookie Peter Mueller) made a big play just to lay it deep to me, and (Ballard) pinches in and made a good shot."

"You need your best player to come through in the clutch, and Doan made a good play, got it to Ballard, and Ballard scored a nice goal to put us back in the lead," Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said. "It was a good statement for that group to come out and get a big goal when we need it on the road."

Doan sealed the win with an empty-netter.

The victory helped the Coyotes kick off their six-game road trip in good fashion. Phoenix now travels to the East Coast for four contests before finishing the trek December 20 at San Jose.

"We wanted to make sure we won this one because we have a tough road trip coming up, and it won't be easy," Vrbata said. "This was a huge win for us."

Gretzky believed the game resembled that of old-time hockey.

"It was a hard game. It was more of an old-fashioned game," he said. "There wasn't a lot of room. It was more bang-and-crash hockey tonight.

"We got a little bit lucky, played hard. It was a hard game tonight. It was kind of a scramble game, but it was a physical game. After coming off a real hard game (Friday) night against San Jose, a 1-0 loss that was a tough loss for us, to come in here and put up the kind of effort we did, we're pretty happy with our victory tonight."

Los Angeles coach Marc Crawford did not think his team received its share of breaks.

"Usually for a hockey team, the breaks will even up over time if you keep working hard," Crawford said. "I think we got a hard-working effort tonight. We just didn't have enough skill and poise with the puck at crucial times."

"It seems like we had a lot of chances, but we just couldn't put it in the back of the net," added Kings center Anze Kopitar, who scored his 13th goal of the season.

The Kings opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 6:24 of the first that was credited to Kopitar.

Defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky fed Dustin Brown, who sent the puck across the crease. Kopitar got a piece of it before it caromed off the skate of Ballard, who was skating backwards, and into the net.

The goal extended Kopitar's points streak to a career-high six games, while the assist stretched Brown's run to eight contests - also a career best.

Phoenix tied it with 90 seconds left in the opening session on Tjarnqvist's first goal of the season. Blue-liner Ed Jovanovski took a shot from the left point that went through traffic before being deflected past Aubin by Tjarnqvist.

Vrbata put the Coyotes in front 69 seconds into the middle period with a man-advantage tally. Rookie Martin Hanzal backhanded a pass across the crease to Vrbata, who beat Aubin to the glove side for his team-leading 11th goal of the season and sixth in seven games.

"We missed that 5-on-3 (advantage) in the first and we wanted to make sure we scored on the power play early in the second," Vrbata said. "It was a bouncing puck, and Marty got it on his stick and slid it over, and I had an open net."

Aubin stopped 18 shots for the Kings, who have lost five of their last seven contests.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHOENIX 1 1 2 4
    LOS ANGELES 1 0 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: LOS - (PP) ANZE KOPITAR 13 (DUSTIN BROWN, LUBOMIR VISNOVSKY)
    6:24
    PHO - MATHIAS TJARNQVIST 1 (ED JOVANOVSKI, FREDRIK SJOSTROM)
    18:30
    2ND PRD: PHO - (PP) RADIM VRBATA 11 (MARTIN HANZAL, FREDRIK SJOSTROM)
    1:09
    3RD PRD:

    Dec 9 1:07 AM


  • NHL
    PHOENIX 4
    LOS ANGELES 2
    3RD PRD: PHO - (EN) SHANE DOAN 8 (FREDRIK SJOSTROM, MARTIN HANZAL)
    19:46

    Coyotes vs. KingsDec 9 1:06 AM
  • 0
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 17 roots

    Coyotes vs. KingsDec 9 1:06 AM
  • 17
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 17 roots (Close Finish)

    Coyotes vs. KingsDec 9 1:03 AM


  • NHL
    PHOENIX 3
    LOS ANGELES 2
    3RD PRD: PHO - KEITH BALLARD 3 (SHANE DOAN, PETER MUELLER) 12:16

    Coyotes vs. KingsDec 9 12:55 AM


  • NHL
    PHOENIX 2
    LOS ANGELES 2
    3RD PRD: LOS - MICHAL HANDZUS 3 (KYLE CALDER, BRIAN WILLSIE) 10:39

    Coyotes vs. KingsDec 9 12:52 AM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHOENIX 1 1 2
    LOS ANGELES 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: LOS - (PP) ANZE KOPITAR 13 (DUSTIN BROWN, LUBOMIR VISNOVSKY)
    6:24
    PHO - MATHIAS TJARNQVIST 1 (ED JOVANOVSKI, FREDRIK SJOSTROM)
    18:30
    2ND PRD: PHO - (PP) RADIM VRBATA 11 (MARTIN HANZAL, FREDRIK SJOSTROM)
    1

    Dec 9 12:16 AM


  • NHL
    PHOENIX 2
    LOS ANGELES 1
    2ND PRD: PHO - (PP) RADIM VRBATA 11 (MARTIN HANZAL, FREDRIK SJOSTROM)
    1:09

    Coyotes vs. KingsDec 8 11:45 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHOENIX 1 1
    LOS ANGELES 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: LOS - (PP) ANZE KOPITAR 13 (DUSTIN BROWN, LUBOMIR VISNOVSKY)
    6:24
    PHO - MATHIAS TJARNQVIST 1 (ED JOVANOVSKI, FREDRIK SJOSTROM)
    18:30
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHO

    Dec 8 11:23 PM


  • NHL
    PHOENIX 1
    LOS ANGELES 1
    1ST PRD: PHO - MATHIAS TJARNQVIST 1 (ED JOVANOVSKI, FREDRIK SJOSTROM)
    18:30

    Coyotes vs. KingsDec 8 11:21 PM


  • NHL
    PHOENIX 0
    LOS ANGELES 1
    1ST PRD: LOS - (PP) ANZE KOPITAR 13 (DUSTIN BROWN, LUBOMIR VISNOVSKY)
    6:24

    Coyotes vs. KingsDec 8 10:54 PM