After dropping a heartbreaker to the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday, the Phoenix Coyotes needed a bounce-back game against their division rivals, the Los Angeles Kings.
And bounce back they did.
The Coyotes brought high energy from the time the puck dropped to the final whistle and put together a solid 60 minutes of hockey in between.
They scored first and never looked back. Goaltender Thomas Greiss was stellar and gave his team the chance to win, a chance they were all too happy to take.
After the dust settled, the Coyotes walked away from Jobing.com Arena on Tuesday the victors in a 3-0 game, the tone for a four-game homestand set.
Here’s a closer look at the win by the numbers:
The Coyotes scored one goal in each period. Oliver Ekman-Larsson flipped a pretty wrister over Kings goalie Jonathon Quick in the first and followed it with an effort on the power play in the second. Antoine Vermette iced the game in the third after a pileup in the Kings’ net.
Greiss posted his second shutout of the season on Tuesday. He wasn’t overly challenged during his 30-save evening, but the few times he was called upon the 27-year-old German delivered. After the game, head coach Dave Tippett said his initial feeling is to start Greiss Thursday against the Buffalo Sabres, but the starter has not been determined.
Coyotes forward Lauri Korpikoski notched an assist Tuesday, his fifth-straight game with a point. He has now tied his career-high for consecutive games with a point and is 0-6-6 in that time.
When it comes to scoring, few in the NHL have been hotter than Coyotes center Antoine Vermette. His third period goal was his seventh in his last seven games and he’s added two assists in that time as well. He is currently the Coyotes’ leading scorer this season with 19.
The penalty kill has been doing well after struggling all season and has killed the last 13 penalties and 34 of the last 39.
The Coyotes and Kings exchanged a whopping 64 hits on Tuesday. No love was lost between the teams and LA forward Jordan Nolan laid a devastating hit on Phoenix forward Kyle Chipchura in the second period. Chip was examined in the locker room and returned several minutes later.
He’s been around for a while and is still setting records. Doan recorded his 500th career NHL assist Tuesday. He is currently third on the franchise all-time assist chart, 53 shy of Thomas Steen’s record.