A lackluster Los Angeles Kings rookie team showed up at Gila River Arena Tuesday, as they were easily swept aside by the Arizona Coyotes rookies. After a fairly even first period, the Coyotes took over the game and the night ended with a 4-1 defeat for the Kings.
Coyotes took an early lead when Henrik Samuelsson (son of former NHLer Ulf Samuelsson) scored on the power play just 2:50 into the opening period when Scott Sabourin sat in the penalty box.
The goal gave the desert dogs some breathing room and allowed them to take control of the opening third of the period. Kings found their footing after a while and tied things up with 14:09 to go when Roland McKeown snapped up a rebound and put a backhand in the top right corner behind Marek Langhamer in the Coyotes net.
Coyotes regained the lead just two minutes later when Brendan Perlini got a breakaway from the Coyotes own blue line and put it past Patrik Bartosak.
The second period had a lot more grit to it than the first, and the fans at Gila River Arena wer howling and cheering when Ryan Horvat and Dyson Stevenson dropped the gloves with 15:49 to go. Both players landed some punches before Horvat wrestled Stevenson to the ice.
Coyotes had a goal waved off with 13:10 to go as the referee blew the whistle before the puck crossed the line.
Arizona used a first line of Domi – Gaudet – Samuelsson, which created some good opportunities for the Coyotes, but Bartostak had a couple of nice saves before switching off with Brandon Maxwell halfway through the period. The Kings killed off a 5-on-3 for 1:28 and showed some impressive penalty killing talent, cutting off passing lanes and collapsing in the right moments. Nick Shore stood out in the defensive zone, showing that he has a mean poke check.
The third period was more of the same as the second. The Kings opened up strong and created some pressure toward Adam Brown who replaced Langhamer to start the period. But, instead of tying the game up, the Kings went down 3-1 with 10:03 remaining when Tobias Rieder beat Maxwell high on the blocker side with a real snipers effort. The kings were clearly frustrated that they couldn’t create any clear scoring opportunities.
Tyler Gaudet made it 4-1 Coyotes with an empty net goal with 47 seconds left of the game. Things got messy after the final whistle with a big brawl that resulted in Coyotes defenseman Joel Hanley and Kings forward Taylor Burke dropping the gloves and exchanging punches.
From a Kings perspective, Shore did a good job, especially in the defensive side of the game. Bartosak had several key saves and could leave the game feeling good about his personal performance. Valentin Zykov was pretty anonymous throughout, with exception of a good scoring chance in the opening period. The giant Finn Alex Lintuniemi showed some promise and it is clear that he can put his 231lbs to good use as he had a couple of really good hits.
Game 2 between the team is Wednesday at 2 p.m. at Gila River Arena and can be streamed live on MayorsManor.com.
Below are a few locker room quotes following the game:
Coach Dave Tippett on the game:
“Pretty much was I expected, a bit scrambly and some nerves but I think we had some players that looked really good.”
Tippett on 20014 1st-round draft pick Brendan Perlini:
“A lot of raw talent, but you can tell there is something in his game. A powerful left winger skate and shoot and has an eye for the net.”
Henrik Samuelsson on the teams performance:
“A little sloppy in the first, but that’s to be expected. In the second and third I really think we shut them down.”
Samuelsson when asked about his own performance:
“I think I played pretty well, so B+. Felt better than the scrimmages against on our guys so just gonna keep building on that.”
Brendan Perlini on playing in an NHL arena:
“It was good. I’ve played in Ottawa before, they are in our league in the OHL, but obviously a little different now coming to the NHL and I think the athmosphere was pretty good for a rookie tournament.”
Note to webmasters/reporters: When recapping news or interviews from this site please remember to include a link to www.MayorsManor.com