Kings @ Coyotes Recap: The Kings Can't Score

Did this shot go in? (A) No (B) No (C) No - Christian Petersen

A backup goalie shut out the Kings, and we knew it was coming. That's a problem, right?

It was a frustrating evening for the Los Angeles Kings. Not that it's anything new, of course. The Phoenix Coyotes put up three goals on LA tonight, and it was pretty clear that three goals would be enough, because the Kings can't score.

[Box Score]

Considering tonight was the second game of a back-to-back, the first period wasn't so bad. The Kings did have to rely on Jonathan Quick for a few good saves, and they also struggled to get out of their own territory fairly often. That would bite them about fifteen minutes into the game, as Slava Voynov got the puck in the corner but couldn't find anyone to help him exit the zone. As a result, Phoenix was able to get another opportunity to score, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson's long wrister through traffic beat Quick to put the Coyotes up 1-0. The Kings got 13 shots on Thomas Greiss in the opening frame themselves, but it didn't really matter because as you know, the Kings can't score.

Early in the second period: controversy! Jordan Nolan hit Kyle Chipchura in the neutral zone hard near the boards, for what was ruled as interference. Which is probably fair. The annoying part was when Paul Bissonnette charged down Nolan, dropped his gloves, and started punching Nolan. The referees didn't like the hit (according to Nolan himself), so instead of giving Bissonnette five minutes for dropping the gloves, or simply evening up the penalties, both players received two minutes for roughing. Not that the Kings going down a man changed all that much; after all, the Kings can't score.

The resulting power play didn't last long, as Ekman-Larsson scored his second goal of the game 12 seconds in. Given that the Kings' penalty kill was strong against Anaheim and San Jose, what happened that allowed Phoenix to cash in so quickly? Unfortunately, a soft goal happened. Phoenix immediately won the draw, they rotated the puck, and Ekman-Larsson fired a (this time unscreened) slapshot which beat Quick. In a 1-0 game, that's a save that the goaltender has to make. Unfortunately, there was even more pressure on Quick to be perfect tonight than there was last night, because the Kings can't score.

To his credit, Drew Doughty was at least able to hit the post in the third period, on a hard shot which Thomas Greiss wasn't even close to stopping. Naturally, Phoenix came back after a few uneventful minutes and did what Los Angeles didn't do at all tonight: forced a mad scramble in front, and snuck a puck past the goaltender. Antoine Vermette has been on a tear lately, and he was the Coyote who was behind Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene when neither was able to clear. Vermette tucked it under Quick, sealing the game because the Kings can't score.

TL;DR version: The Kings can't score. Discuss.

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