Ekman-Larsson scored two goals and played a game-high 26 minutes
and 38 seconds while anchoring the defense in front of goaltender
Thomas Greiss in the Coyotes' 3-0 victory over the Kings at
"We were just laughing. He came down to 26 (minutes) today. It was a
light day for him," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "I thought our
whole group of 'D' played pretty well."
Ekman-Larsson, a valuable two-way performer, skated a career-high 34
minutes, 57 seconds at Vancouver on Sunday, and he entered the game
eighth in the league in ice time at almost 26 minutes a game.
Ekman-Larsson scored the first two goals of the game, beating Kings
goaltender Jonathan Quick on a wrist shot at 15:57 of the first
period before scoring 12 seconds into a power play early in the
"It was a huge game for us. We talked a lot about this game, and I
think we played a great 60 minutes," said Ekman-Larsson, who has
eight goals this season, four in the last nine games. "We need to
win hockey games right now."
Coyotes center Antoine Vermettte, who has 19 goals, flipped in a
rebound to finish the scoring at 8:47 of the third period. Vermette
has seven goals and nine points in his past seven games, including a
hat trick in a 5-4 loss at Vancouver on Sunday, when he became the
second player in the league to score an even-strength, power-play
and short-handed goal this season.
"It's one of those stretches, you'll take it," Vermette said.
"Sometimes it goes the other way. This time is on the positive sign
of it. We've been talking about taking steps in the right direction,
and tonight we did it."
Greiss made 30 saves for his second shutout this season, the third
of his career, as the Coyotes (25-18-10) won for the fourth time in
seven games to start a five-game homestand. Greiss is 7-3-1 as the
goalie of record this season.
"We played a simple game, stuck to our strengths, got the puck out
and got the goals we needed," Greiss said.
Coyotes forward Shane Doan recorded his 500th career assist on
Ekman-Larsson's first goal, and winger Lauri Korpikoski had an
assist on Vermette's goal, extending his point streak to a
career-high six games.
Quick made 26 saves for the Kings, who have lost five of their past
six games while being outscored 16-7. Los Angeles (30-19-6) was shut
out for the fifth time this season.
[to top of second column]
"There's a teamwide frustration and a personal frustration for some
guys in here," Kings forward Dustin Brown said. "I don't know how
many really good chances we had, and that's probably a bit of them
playing really well and us not being hungry enough to get in the
Ekman-Larsson's goal for a 2-0 lead came just seconds after Kings
center Jordan Nolan was given consecutive two-minute minors for
interference and roughing after his high check flattened forward
Coyotes left winger Paul Bissonnette also received roughing and
10-minute misconduct penalties when he punched Nolan after the
check, the second confrontation between the two this season.
"I thought it was a bad call," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. "We
shouldn't have gotten that extra penalty."
Nolan leveled Coyotes defenseman Rostislav Klesa with a check in a
preseason game Sept. 15, and Bissonnette left the bench to fight
Nolan. Klesa was carried off the ice on a stretcher and experienced
concussion and whiplash symptoms the next day, the team said. Nolan
was not penalized, but Bissonnette was suspended 10 games for
leaving the bench. He lost more than $37,000 in salary.
"They have a group of guys that play hard and physical," Doan said.
"It's fun when it's played that way. You have to expect it."
NOTES: Coyotes F Shane Doan trails only Fs Thomas Steen (553) and
Dale Hawerchuk (550) in the Winnipeg-Phoenix franchise history in
career assists. "It's special," Doan said. "Slow and steady, I
guess." ... Kings coach Darryl Sutter coached his 1,012th game,
tying Terry Murray for 19th in NHL history. Murray coached his final
four seasons (2008-12) for the Kings. ... Coyotes D Connor Murphy
was recalled from AHL Portland on Monday. F Jordan Szwarz was
returned to the minors. Murphy, 20, had a goal and seven assists in
21 previous games with Phoenix this season. ... Coyotes G Mike
Smith, who had started the previous eight games, ranks 36th among
qualifiers with a 2.91 goals-against-average. His 1,248 saves are
the most in the league.
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.