Take the point and move on. That’s probably what the Kings were thinking on their late night plane ride back to Los Angeles following a 2-1 shootout loss in Arizona.
Yes, the Coyotes lead 1-0 after 20 minutes. No problem, though; Alex Iafallo tied it up on the power play during the middle stanza.
Yes, the Coyotes already hold a goal differential of minus-30 and have only won five of their last 10 home games. And, yes, the Kings — a team known more for their defensive prowess over the past decade — have one of the most productive offensive attacks in the NHL thus far this year.
None of that mattered much on Christmas Eve Eve.
In LA’s first double Reverse Retro game of 2022-23, coach Todd McLellan’s club produced a single goal in 60 minutes.
Overtime didn’t net anything for either side (other than a successful LA PK after a Drew Doughty penalty). So, off to a shootout they went.
Misses by Gabe Vilardi, Trevor Moore, and Adrian Kempe allowed Nick Bjugstad’s goal to stand as the game-winner.
Trivia Note: Bjugstad was selected with pick No. 19 at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft held in LA. That pick originally belonged to the Kings. However, a few minutes earlier, then-GM Dean Lombardi traded that pick to move up to No. 15. Many in the audience thought he may be moving up to take Bjugstad. Instead, he selected Derek Forbort — allegedly against the advice of several of his trusted scouts.
Trivia Question: When was the last time Anze Kopitar was not one of the first three shooters used by LA in the shootout?
Below are select highlights from Friday night’s game:
Additional Post-Game Notes:
— Bally Sports West (@BallySportWest) December 24, 2022
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