Kuemper gets second straight shutout, Kings beat Coyotes 6-0
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Kings finally broke out of their scoring funk, though with the way backup goalie Darcy Kuemper has been playing, one goal was all they needed.
Kuemper made 27 saves for his second consecutive shutout, Jake Muzzin and Trevor Lewis scored on special teams, and the Kings beat the Arizona Coyotes 6-0 on Saturday night.
Kuemper, who has won three straight starts, hasn’t allowed a goal in his last 170 minutes, 30 seconds of game action.
“Darcy is seeing the puck right now,” Kings coach John Stevens said. “The puck is hitting him. He’s probably played as good as he’s every played, and he’s really come in and played sound for us.”
Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar, Adrian Kempe and Alex Iafallo each had a goal and an assist for the Kings, who have won two in a row against the Pacific Division following a five-game regulation losing streak.
Iafallo capped off a productive shift with his fifth career goal to give the Kings a 1-0 lead 7:14 into the first period. It was Iafallo’s forechecking that allowed the Kings to retain possession in the offensive zone, and the rookie eventually positioned himself on the edge of the crease where he could capitalize on the rebound off Tyler Toffoli’s long shot and scored.
It was only the Kings’ third first-period goal in their last 10 games, having been outscored 14-3 in that span.
“We need to keep doing that,” Iafallo said. “Gives us momentum, and I feel like that helped us out tonight.”
Lewis scored his 13th to set a new career high on a short-handed breakaway at 2:37 of the second. Kempe made it 3-0 on a wrist shot at 5:12, and Muzzin added a power-play goal at 18:46 for a 4-0 lead.
Coyotes defensemen Niklas Hjalmarsson beat Kuemper on a slap shot 57 seconds into the third period, but Stevens got the goal overturned on a coaches challenge. Video review showed center Max Domi was offsides in the buildup to the goal, keeping Kuemper’s 10th career shutout intact.
“Tonight, it was pretty easy,” Kuemper said. “Early on, they were letting me see and really track the first couple shots, and that just continued all night. For the most part, I just sat back and enjoyed watching (the defense) play.”
Kopitar scored at 6:22 of the third, giving him 15 points (three goals, 12 assists) in his last 13 games. Brown capped off the rout by scoring his 16th goal with 3:15 remaining.
Scott Wedgewood made 29 saves for the Coyotes, who had their streak of four consecutive wins against the Kings and three straight in Los Angeles end.
“You can’t hide,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. “We’re going to play teams that scratch and claw. You’re going to get the best of the best, and if you’re not in compete mode — that’s my job to get these guys to compete — you get embarrassed.”
Coyotes goalie Antti Raanta did not travel with the team, and rookie Adin Hill backed up Wedgewood. Raanta was involved in an auto accident on his way to Thursday’s home game against the Dallas Stars.
Hilll was recalled from the Coyotes’ AHL affiliate on an emergency basis Friday.
NOTES: Kings D Alec Martinez (lower body) did not play after he was injured in the 5-0 loss at Nashville on Thursday. ... Kings RW Marian Gaborik was a healthy scratch. Gaborik has one point in his last 10 appearances after recording 13 points in his first 18 games following offseason knee surgery.
Coyotes: Visit the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night.
Kings: Host the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night.
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