GLENDALE, Ariz. (CBSLA.com/AP) — Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored two goals, Thomas Greiss stopped 30 shots and the Phoenix Coyotes kicked off an important five-game homestand with a 3-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night.
The Coyotes needed to string together some victories during their homestand after a rough stretch dropped them to ninth in the Western Conference.
They responded with arguably their best game of the season, playing solid in their own end while peppering Jonathan Quick with 29 shots.
Antoine Vermette had a goal and an assist to extend his points streak to five games and Shane Doan had his 500th career assist on Ekman-Larsson’s second goal. That was more than enough for Greiss, who had his second shutout this season, third career.
The Kings, who have scored only three goals in their past 38 power-play attempts, labored after playing the night before, shut out for the second time in three games for their sixth loss in seven games.
Los Angeles has scored two goals in its past four games.
The Coyotes have been tumbling down the Western Conference standings, losing seven of their past 10 games.
They did rally from a 4-2 deficit to earn a point against Vancouver Sunday night behind Vermette’s third career hat trick.
Phoenix still had its offensive mojo going early against the Kings, creating some good chances and while getting traffic in front of Quick, who made some tough stops, including a sprawling save on Jeff Halpern.
Ekman-Larsson broke through late in the first period, whipping a wrister from the point past Quick.
A physical game between two rivals became even rougher in the second period, when Jordan Nolan leveled Kyle Chipchura with a shoulder, setting of a scrum along the boards. Phoenix got a power play out of it and scored 12 seconds into it, when Ekman-Larsson beat Quick with a slapshot just outside the faceoff circle.
Greiss had a string of tough saves as the game opened up late in the second period and Vermette put it out of reach in the third, punching in a rebound for his team-leading 19th goal of the season.
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