LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 05: Jonathan Quick #32 of the Los Angeles Kings looks for a rebound in front of Taylor Pyatt #14 of the Phoenix Coyotes and Jack Johnson #3 during the first period at Staples Center on January 5, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
In a low-scoring, but not dull Pacific Division matchup, the Coyotes take on and win against the Kings. The win puts Phoenix ahead of L.A. in the standings, putting the Kings on the brink of being outside the playoff picture.
In a night full of high-scoring games, it should have been expected that the Phoenix Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings would be the lowest scoring of all. Still, the match didn't lack in feistiness, as the Coyotes took the 1-0 victory.
This was a division match with important playoff implications, and both teams seemed to feel the intensity in the air. Not too long into the game, Dustin Brown hit Rostislav Klesla hard, taking Klesla out of the game. The hit wasn't all too bad, but Shane Doan decided to take offense with Brown following the hit, and the two team captains dropped the gloves. The teams fought twice more before the end of the period.
Both teams settled down, but with just four minutes left, the Coyotes, despite their last-place power play, solved Jonathan Quick and gave Phoenix the lead.
The Kings and 'Yotes fought again early in the third, but after that, nothing much more offensively happened until a poorly-timed penalty against Michal Rozsival gave L.A. a late power play with 2:30 left in regulation. The Kings couldn't set anything up, however, and on the one clear chance they had to score, Mike Smith denied Brown's attempt:
Brown didn't help matters, taking an offensive zone interference penalty with 11 seconds left, which sealed the 1-0 win for the Coyotes. Mike Smith extended his career-high win streak to six.
More importantly, Phoenix ties L.A. at 65 points. Since they have more wins, they actually jumped ahead of the Kings in the Western Conference standings, moving to seventh and bumping the Kings to eighth -- just two points ahead of the ninth-place Calgary Flames.