A few more takeaways from a grind-it-out, often dull contest against the Coyotes on Monday night:
The stretch run isn’t always pretty
Tennis player turned television commentator Brad Gilbert once wrote a well-regarded book, “Winning Ugly.” Now Monday’s win wasn’t quite that but it certainly won’t make many highlight packages – other than the first career goal by Kings’ center Andy Andreoff.
Arizona did a decent job of keeping it a tight game.
“Everyone knew what was on the line for them,” Coyotes goalie Mike Smith said. “We were trying to play spoiler and it didn’t work out tonight.”
Said Kings Coach Darryl Sutter: “I thought we worked hard, had good focus. It was tough scoring. We played a team that’s a tough checking team. We talked to the players about how they [the Coyotes] are coming off a five-game homestand, every game they played in those five games was 1-0 going into the third.
“They can check. They’ve always been known for that. We had to be patient.”
Andreoff’s moment in the spotlight
Just a few days ago, Andreoff was chatting with reporters after practice and chuckled when asked about how he smiled after his first fight in the NHL.
He had even more reason to smile after scoring his first goal in the NHL, late in the second period, and the game-winning goal, no less. Publicly, and privately, his teammates were thrilled for him, knowing how hard Andreoff has worked this season, biding his time.
“It’s been a long year, so I’m glad I finally got it,” Andreoff said, who recorded his first point.
It was his 15th career game, and his playing time has been spotty and limited. Andreoff played in back-to-back games for the first time since mid-January, and this could be his most active stretch of hockey since he appeared in eight consecutive games the first month of the season.
His goal got most of the attention, naturally. But Andreoff, who played 10 minutes 39 seconds, won five of six faceoffs. His teammate, rookie center Nick Shore, continued his strong work in the circle too, winning seven of 10 faceoffs.
Quick showing his elite status, 2.0 version
Kings goalie Jonathan Quick has allowed two goals in his last three starts, recording two shutouts in less than a week, one against Vancouver on Thursday and Monday against the Coyotes.
Dating back to Feb. 7, he is 13-3-1 in his last 17 appearances with a goals-against average of 1.67 in that stretch, including a save percentage of .933.
In terms of wins, he is seventh in the league with 30. Price is the league leader with 38.