Improving Kings get two-game set vs. lowly Coyotes

Improving Kings get two-game set vs. lowly Coyotes

The Los Angeles Kings, after rallying for a 4-3 overtime victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday to open a four-game road trip, now get two opportunities to pick on the weakest team in the Western Conference.The Kings will oppose the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday and again on Wednesday in Glendale, Ariz.Arizona, which is just 2-8-0 over its past 10 games, hasn’t played since a 4-3 home loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Feb. 11. The Coyotes have the fewest points (28), fewest wins (12) and the worst point percentage (.292) in the West. The expansion Seattle Kraken are next in all three categories with 36 points, 16 victories and a .360 point percentage.By earning their third win in four games Friday, the Kings moved into the second Western Conference wild-card spot, and they are tied on points (57) with the third-place Edmonton Oilers in the Pacific Division. Following the two games in Arizona, the Kings will conclude their trip next Friday against the Anaheim Ducks.Los Angeles improved to 12-6-5 on the road with the win over the Golden Knights, who bolted to a 2-0 first-period lead on goals by Max Pacioretty and Reilly Smith. The Kings battled back to tie it on goals by Andreas Athanasiou and Adrian Kempe. Pacioretty then put Vegas back in front midway through the second period before Phillip Danault tied it again later in the middle period, setting the stage for Kempe’s game-winner at 2:18 of overtime.Kings coach Todd McLellan didn’t think his team would have rebounded to pull out a win in a similar situation last season.”You don’t plan on going down by two, but we did (and) they earned it,” McLellan said. “In the past, that was probably enough in this building for (Vegas). I’m proud of the way the guys fought back.”We believe we can play against anybody. We believe we can come back. We didn’t have those two qualities in the last 15 or 20 games last year. We have them now. We’ve got to keep them.”Los Angeles moved within three points of the second-place Golden Knights and five points of the Pacific-leading Calgary Flames.

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