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Antti Raanta stars for Coyotes with 40 saves in win over Kings

Arizona Coyotes goaltender Antti Raanta makes a glove save during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings Wednesday, March 3, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The Arizona Coyotes’ success relies a lot on their two great goaltenders and Antti Raanta did his part on Wednesday.

Raanta recorded 40 saves in a 3-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings.

“He played well,” head coach Rick Tocchet said.

“You could tell he was sharp. Raants was good.”

The game was even before a four-goal spurt in the second period.

In less than five minutes of game time, the first four goals of the game would be scored.

Coyotes forward Clayton Keller broke the deadlock in the mid-second period, converting on the power play with 9:26 remaining.

Another power play would come, this time Los Angeles’, and Kings defenseman Drew Doughty found the back of the net 96 seconds later to tie the game 1-1.

Less than two minutes later, the third power play of that stretch would bring the third goal. Arizona’s Nick Schmaltz seventh goal of the year put Arizona back in front.

Off the ensuing faceoff, the puck was going behind the Kings net. Under the pressure, Los Angeles turned the puck over and it fell right in front of Coyotes forward Johan Larsson. The lefty didn’t let the chance slip by, slotting home his third goal of the year for a 3-1 Coyotes edge and closing out the four-goal flurry.

In the third period, the Kings would dominate, at one point registering 13 of the first 14 shots.

One of those was Gabriel Vilardi’s sixth of the season with under seven minutes left. All the momentum was in Los Angeles’ favor, but the Coyotes and Raanta held strong for their first win in three games.

“I didn’t think we had our best in the third,” Schmaltz said. “I thought they kind of took over the game there and had a lot of good looks but Raants made some key saves for us and we were able to get through it and kind of grind it out.


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