GLENDALE, Ariz. – It was only fitting that the goalfest between the Los Angeles Kings and Phoenix Coyotes would end in a shootout.
After 10 goals were scored in regulation, Patrick O’Sullivan, the fourth Kings shooter, scored in the shootout to give Los Angeles a 6-5 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday night.
Mikael Tellqvist stopped Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown and Michael Cammalleri, before O’Sullivan settled things with a winning wrist shot.
“That’s the same shot I’ve used since I was 10 years old,” O’Sullivan said. “Most of us are pretty good on breakaways and you just try and go with your best shot.”
Kings coach Marc Crawford knew the capabilities of his players and planned his shootout strategy.
“Our guys are solid stickhandlers and I planned to use O’Sullivan and Cammalleri as the second and third shooters,” Crawford said. “Instead, I held O’Sullivan back, and that worked.”
Erik Ersberg stopped Phoenix shooters Keith Ballard, Peter Mueller, Radim Vrbata and Shane Doan in to preserve the win.
The Coyotes forced overtime with their fourth power-play goal of the game. Defenseman Ballard fired in a wrist shot with 24 seconds left in regulation after Tellqvist was pulled for an extra skater, and the Kings’ Matt Ellis was serving a hooking penalty.
Phoenix, which had won six straight over the Kings this season, is six points out of a playoff spot with seven games left. It was the Coyotes’ 19th loss at home. Only Los Angeles has a worse home mark.
“That was a huge point we let get away,” Doan said. “Right now, we have to find a way to get ready to go for the next game.”
That will be Saturday night at home against the Anaheim Ducks.
The Kings scored two goals 1:17 apart in the second period. Brown had a short-handed tally, followed by Raitis Ivanans’ goal that made it 4-2.
Los Angeles, which never trailed, got the scoring going midway through the first period. Tom Preissing made it 1-0 at 8:24, but the Coyotes tied it just over 3 minutes later.
On the power play, the Coyotes’ Enver Lisin converted Peter Mueller’s centring pass at 11:30 for his second of the season.
Preissing scored his second with 42 seconds left in the period during a power play. It was Preissing’s second multigoal game of the season.
Phoenix tied it again when Keith Yandle drilled a slap shot through traffic for a power-play goal at 6:05 of the second.
Phoenix drew within 4-3 when Steven Reinprecht tipped in Ballard’s shot from the blue line at 11:25.
The Kings quickly responded and rebuilt a two goal lead. Defenseman Peter Harrold, crashing in from the left circle, beat Tellqvist at 12:04 of the second period.
The Coyotes again closed within one when Doan scored, during a two-man advantage at 17:26 of the second period.
The loss left Phoenix in a desperate fight for the playoffs.
“We could have tightened up a little and come away with two points,” Ballard said. “Now, we have to move on and get ready for Saturday. It’s good we didn’t pack it in and roll over.”
Notes: Phoenix captain Ed Jovanovski was scratched due to a bruised kidney. The Coyotes’ four power-play goals were a season-high. … Harrold’s previous goal came against Chicago on Feb. 23. … O’Sullivan scored third winning shootout goal of the season. The Kings are 5-2 in shootouts.