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Kopitar reaches 999 career points, Kings beat Coyotes 3-2

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) – Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist to reach 999 career points, and the Los Angeles Kings put a big dent in the Arizona Coyotes’ playoff hopes with a 3-2 win Monday night. Kopitar scored in the second period and assisted Alex Iafallo’s goal, putting him within one point of becoming the fourth Kings player to reach 1,000 for his career. Trevor Moore also scored, and Jonathan Quick had 17 saves before leaving after the second period with an upper-body injury. In relief, Cal Petersen stopped 15 shots and helped the Kings withstand a wild late flurry by the Coyotes.

Jakob Chychrun scored his 17th goal, which leads all NHL defensemen, and Christian Dvorak scored for the Coyotes. Darcy Kuemper had 22 saves. Arizona is five points behind St. Louis for the West Division’s final playoff spot, with three games left after the Blues beat Anaheim earlier Monday. The Coyotes have lost 11 of 14.

On Saturday, the Coyotes got off to a slow in a 3-2 loss to Vegas and did it again in another must-win game.

Arizona had one shot on goal in the first 15 minutes – the Kings had nine – and Kuemper had to make some difficult saves, including a diving stop on Sean Walker in the early going.

The Coyotes finally generated some offensive pressure late, and Dvorak scored, gathering a pass from Lawson Crouse and knocking it past Quick with a backhander.

The lead didn’t last long.

Moore scored 35 seconds later, beating Kuemper to the short after an Arizona faceoff wins to the goalie’s right.

The Coyotes closed the period on the power play after the Kings‘ Tobias Bjornfot ran Clayton Keller into Quick. Chychrun capitalized 53 seconds into the second, beating Quick from the left circle on a shot off the post.

Kopitar tied it midway through the period, one-timing a pass from Adrian Kempe past Kuemper’s stick side on a 2-on-1. Iafallo put the Kings up on a late power play, jamming in a rebound after Kuemper stopped Drew Doughty’s initial shot. Petersen made several difficult saves in the final two minutes after Arizona pulled Kuemper for an extra attacker. The Coyotes also had a couple of good in-close chances just missed due to bouncing pucks.


The Kings lead the Coyotes 4-3, heading into the season series finale on Wednesday.

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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