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Alex Iafallo scores twice as Kings beat Coyotes for fourth victory in a row

The Kings' Alex Iafallo, center, celebrates a goal against Arizona with teammates Matt Roy, right, and Anze Kopitar.
The Kings’ Alex Iafallo, center, celebrates one of his two goals against Arizona with teammates Matt Roy, right, and Anze Kopitar.
(Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press)

Alex Iafallo scored two goals, Cal Petersen stopped 22 shots, and the Kings beat the Arizona Coyotes 4-2 on Saturday night for their fourth consecutive victory.

The Kings have earned points in five straight games since a five-game losing streak.

“You lose five in a row, it’s hard to keep the energy up at practice, it’s hard to keep the energy up in the room,” said Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, who had two assists. “Everyone’s not happy because you’re losing games. When you’re winning games, everything’s just more fun.”

The Kings beat the Coyotes 3-2 on Thursday night when Gabriel Vilardi scored in the fourth round of a shootout. Vilardi came through again, beating Darcy Kuemper with a wrist shot shortly after Arizona’s Phil Kessel tied the score.

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Trevor Moore also scored for the Kings, and Iafallo sealed it with an empty-net goal.

The setting was spectacular but the ice conditions were far from it, leading to an extended delay Saturday for the NHL’s outdoor game at Lake Tahoe.

“Arizona defended really well. They didn’t give us anything,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “It was a patient game. We kept talking about that: Don’t get impatient. Eventually it went our way.”

Kessel scored for the second consecutive game and had an assist. Derick Brassard also scored, and Kuemper had 19 saves.

“Some guys looked tired. They weren’t thinking mentally,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. “Overall, they didn’t have a lot of chances. The ones they did, they scored on.”

The Kings jumped on the Coyotes in Thursday’s game with two goals in the first period. Arizona rallied with two goals in the second but wanted to get off to a better start in the rematch.

The Coyotes had a good early jump and Petersen was tested early, nearly doing the splits to get a pad on John Hayden’s shot from the slot. Arizona closed the period with a flurry of shots, but Petersen was sharp.

Highlights from the Kings’ 4-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday in Glendale, Ariz.

Iafallo scored a power-play goal early in the second period, beating Kuemper glove side from the left circle — not long after Arizona’s Tyler Pitlick hit the post.

Brassard answered with a power-play goal of his own, scoring from the right circle on a shot that hit Kings defenseman Olli Maatta out front.

The Coyotes closed the second period and opened the third on the power play after Conor Garland was cross-checked twice, including one to the face by Austin Strand.

Instead of taking advantage, Arizona gave up a short-handed goal 52 seconds into the third period. Moore had it, beating Kuemper after the puck caromed right to him off Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun’s stick.

Kessel tied it on a power play midway through the third period on a wrister from the left circle through Pitlick’s screen.

Vilardi beat Kuemper with a wrist shot less than three minutes later to put the Kings back up.

“We’ve got to be a little bit smarter with a decisions with the puck, our line changes in general,” Brassard said. “We’ve got to learn from it.”

Kings goalie Cal Petersen is congratulated by defenseman Drew Doughty (8) on Feb. 20, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz.
Kings goalie Cal Petersen, who had 22 saves, is congratulated by defenseman Drew Doughty (8) after the win.
(Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press)

Doughty has been on a roll the last two weeks with a goal and six assists in five games.

Winning has played a big role.

“I definitely feel the momentum,” he said. “When I’m grumpy — at the other team — I’m playing my best, engaged in the game and feel much better in myself.”

The Kings will play at St. Louis on Monday and Wednesday nights.

The Coyotes will host the Ducks on Monday and Wednesday nights.


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