The Phoenix Coyotes brought a collection of former Kings with them to Staples Center last night – including coach Dave Tippett, goalie Jason LaBarbera and forward Patrick O’Sullivan. However, LA outshot them 35-29, out-hit them 28-25, won more faceoffs, killed every Coyotes penalty, chased LaBarbera early in the third period and won the game 4-3.
Afterwards, coach Tippett had this to say about the overall game…
“I thought we hung in there. We wanted to make sure we competed hard and give ourselves the best chance of winning. We were hanging around the whole game right to the end. There were a couple of goals that LaBarbera would like to have back, but those are tough to overcome.”
On back-up goalie Curtis McElhinney’s relief effort, Tippet said – “I thought he played very well. He made a couple good saves and then he got lucky on a couple posts so we just took a chance to see if we could change the momentum there. We competed hard tonight and you always want results without a doubt. They had some guys really play well tonight. We have to keep that attitude and try to win a big game at home.”
If there was one positive for Phoenix, it had to be the play of Raffi Torres. On his two goal performance, Tipped said – “He made a couple good plays on breakaways to score. With our lineup the way it is we need people to contribute throughout and he gave us a couple good goals tonight.”
Shane Doan, one of the best captains in the entire league – who almost always finds a way to pick up a point vs. the Kings - was held scoreless and ended the night with a minus-2 rating. He had this to say about the overall game – “Everyone has injuries, everyone has people that they are missing. You have to find ways to battle through it and make sure that other guys step up. I thought Raffi Torres was great and O’Sullivan. That line was really good for us. We had guys step up, we just got to find ways to score on the power play. Special teams this year are huge for us and we got to be better at it.”
On the Kings defenseman getting into the scoring act, Doan shared this – “Their blue line is huge for them. They were getting a lot of shots through to the net and they were shooting a lot of pucks through. Their guys were going to the net hard.”
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