Coyotes 4, Kings 1
PHOENIX (AP) _ Keith Tkachuk reached the 30-goal plateau for the fourth consecutive season and the Phoenix Coyotes extended their unbeaten streak to five games with a 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday night.
Deron Quint and Robert Reichel each had a goal and an assist and Oleg Tverdovsky added the go-ahead goal for the Coyotes, who opened a seven-point lead over Anaheim for fourth place in the Western Conference.
Luc Robitaille scored his team-leading 32nd goal for the Kings, who trail the Calgary Flames by five points for the conference’s eighth and final playoff spot.
Nikolai Khabibulin made 37 saves for Phoenix, which beat Los Angeles for the fifth time in six games. Khabibulin is 11-5-1 against the Kings.
Tkachuk and Reichel, acquired by the Coyotes from the New York Islanders on Saturday, combined to give Phoenix a 1-0 lead at 7:52 of the first period. Tkachuk skated down the right side, passed to Reichel behind the net, then took the return pass to the right of the crease and bounced a shot off Jamie Storr’s left leg for his 30th goal.
Tkachuk has scored 30 goals in five of his seven seasons, leaving him three seasons shy of Dale Hawerchuk’s franchise record.
Robitaille answered 24 seconds later when he beat Khabibulin from the left faceoff circle for his 510th career goal. Robitaille needs two more goals to tie Gilbert Perreault for 23rd place on the all-time list.
The Coyotes regained the lead at 14:00 of the period when Tverdovsky fired over Storr’s outstretched glove and just under the crossbar for his sixth goal.
Quint made it 3-1 at 5:13 of the second period when he took a pass from Rick Tocchet and deflected a shot off a Kings player and past Storr for his fifth goal.
Reichel capped the scoring with an empty-net, power-play goal with 33.8 seconds left. Storr, making his first start since March 4, made 39 saves for the Kings.