GLENDALE, Ariz. — For whatever reason, Arizona had been the one division rival Los Angeles couldn’t solve this season. Three of the Kings’ six Pacific Division losses have come against the Coyotes.
But the Kings put it all together in the final regular-season meeting between the teams Tuesday night. Dustin Brown scored twice, and Jake Muzzin and Alec Martinez each added a goal and an assist in a 6-2 win over the Coyotes.
Marian Gaborik and Brown scored 12 seconds apart late in the second period, with Gaborik’s goal coming off a turnover when Arizona defenceman Kevin Connauton’s stick broke on a shot attempt. Brown fired in a shot from beyond the blue line at 18:59 for a 4-2 lead, and the Kings spoiled the 1,000th game as head coach for the Coyotes’ Dave Tippett.
Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty had two assists apiece for the Pacific Division leaders, who won for the second time in five games. Jonathan Quick stopped 23 shots in the first game after the All-Star break for both teams.
Brown scored his fourth and fifth goals of the season against Arizona.
"It’s probably just a coincidence," he said. "This was a good start against a division opponent, so now it’s regrouping and continuing to try to separate ourselves."
Coyotes goalie Louis Domingue, the NHL’s rookie of the month for January, was pulled after Brown’s second goal, which came early in the third period. Domingue made 20 saves and was removed early for the second straight game.
"It’s on me. If I make more saves then we have a chance to win. That’s how I see it," Domingue said.
Arizona has lost five of seven.
"Four out of six goals were stoppable goals, so it’s good to see him take responsibility for them," Tippett said. "This one was a good lesson for us. L.A. looks like a team coming out of the break that’s gearing up for a stretch drive. That was a lesson in special teams, a lesson in puck battles, a lesson in commitment to getting things done."
Tippett, who became the 24th head coach in NHL history to reach 1,000 games, offered a couple of waves to the crowd when his milestone was announced at Gila River Arena early in the first period. By that time, the Coyotes led 1-0.
Jordan Martinook controlled the puck near the boards and sent a turnaround wrister from a difficult angle between Quick’s skate and the near post. The goal came at 6:13 of the period.
A couple of scuffles broke out toward the end of the first, the second of which resulted in a double-minor penalty to Kings defenceman Luke Schenn, who slammed Arizona’s Oliver Ekman-Larsson against the boards at 18:15. Ekman-Larsson had to come off the ice but returned in the second period.
The Kings scored four times in the second and tied it with the first of two power-play goals in the period. Muzzin beat Domingue high with a shot at the 3:40 mark, and after Anthony Duclair gave Arizona a 2-1 lead at 6:40, Los Angeles drew even again.
Martinez got help from the screening presence of teammate Jeff Carter in front of Domingue on another power play, as Domingue could only deflect Martinez’s shot into the net at 9:57.
"I don’t think the goalie saw it, or if he saw it, he saw it at the last second. That obviously doesn’t go in unless he (Carter) is standing there," Martinez said.
The Kings’ penalty-kill unit silenced the Coyotes on five power plays, including one 2-minute stretch late in the second when Los Angeles staved off a flurry of puck activity in front of Quick, and Max Domi’s shot went wide.
Vincent Lecavalier scored for the Kings on the power play at 7:30 of the third.
NOTES: Arizona won the season series 3-1-1. … Coyotes senior vice-president and assistant general manager Darcy Regier will leave the organization for personal reasons, the team confirmed. Regier was hired in July 2014 after serving as GM of the Buffalo Sabres from 1997-2013. … Ds Jarred Tinordi and Klas Dahlbeck were scratched for Arizona. Tinordi missed his first game since his Coyotes debut on Jan. 23. … D Christian Ehrhoff and C Andy Andreoff were scratched for Los Angeles. … The Coyotes are 11-3-2 against Pacific Division opponents.