The Kings crawled back through the desert and thought they found an oasis.
They stared at a three-goal deficit against one of the hottest teams in the NHL. Then Jeff Carter tipped the game with a pair of deflection goals in the final eight minutes of regulation to force overtime. The Kings nearly pulled out a win, too, on a goal that was called back on goalie interference, but lost to the Arizona Coyotes 4-3 in the fifth round of a shootout to end a wild Tuesday night at Gila River Arena.
Arizona's Adin Hill stopped four of five shootout attempts to get his first NHL win, while Kings starter Jack Campbell, in his third career NHL start, took the loss in his first NHL shootout.
"I don't think we'll ever be happy with just a point," Campbell said. "I'm really proud of the way the guys fought all 60 minutes and into overtime. I've just got to make a couple more saves and we get two points."
The Kings thought they had won early in overtime when Carter's shot from his knees went into the net off Drew Doughty, who crashed into Hill, but it was disallowed on goalie interference.
"I'm trying to stop and obviously getting pushed by the guy behind me," Doughty said. "I don't know whether that should count. Honestly, I have no idea. But I tried to stop and not hit the goalie. It wasn't intentional."
The referee initially announced it was a goal but that it had to be reviewed.
"I had a feeling when the crowd started cheering and then he didn't really finish his sentence, I had a feeling they were going to say something went wrong," Doughty said. "It sucked. I thought we won for a second."
Carter got a piece of Doughty's shot on the power play with about eight minutes remaining in regulation, with the man advantage courtesy of an Arizona too-many-men penalty. The two hooked up again with 2:18 left when Carter neatly deflected Doughty's shot high to tie it 3-3.
The anticipated matchup against Arizona goalie Darcy Kuemper didn't happen. Kuemper was reportedly sick going into Tuesday and he dressed as backup to Hill, who spent most of the season in the minors.
But the Kings didn't put much pressure on Hill until midway through the game when Tanner Pearson snapped a shot from the high slot on the rush, from a backhand assist from Adrian Kempe, for Pearson's second goal in two nights.
Arizona took a 3-0 lead 27 seconds earlier on Christian Dvorak's wide-open wrist shot from the top of the right circle. The Coyotes gained possession after Jake Muzzin's clearing attempt was knocked down by Nick Cousins and fed to Max Domi.
The Kings looked a step slow early and Arizona's forecheck helped give it a 2-0 lead at first intermission. Just more than five minutes into the game, Clayton Keller beat Campbell from the lower right side after the Kings got caught in their zone. Ten minutes later, Cousins' centering pass glanced off Doughty's skate and slid under Campbell across the goal line.
Futa stays put
Kings assistant general manager Michael Futa has withdrawn his name from consideration for the Carolina Hurricanes general manager position. Futa confirmed, via text message, a Sportsnet report Tuesday that he does not want to be a distraction during the Kings' playoff chase.
Futa has become a popular candidate for general manager, to the point that he was promoted by the Kings to keep him in the organization. He has built up a decade-long track record in helping the Kings develop prospects.