Yandle, Halpern lift Coyotes over Kings 4-3

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 18, 2014 at 1:30 am •  Published: March 18, 2014
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Phoenix Coyotes played with more desperation than the Los Angeles Kings, and it made the difference in a close game.

Keith Yandle scored the tying goal midway through the third and Jeff Halpern got the winner with 3:05 left, leading the Coyotes to a 4-3 victory over the Kings on Monday nigh0074.

Rob Klinkhammer and Mikkel Boedker scored 63 seconds apart in the first period for the Coyotes, who handed the Kings their third straight loss and took over sole possession of eighth place in the Western Conference. Mike Smith made 36 saves.

"Smith was a really strong player for us tonight. It's a good thing he showed up to play. He had one heck of a game," coach Dave Tippett said. "When you need things done to win a game, guys like (Antoine) Vermette, (Lauri) Korpikoski, and (Zbynek) Michalek are the people to get it done for you. Some people competed very hard for us and we were able to pull out a win."

Marian Gaborik, defenseman Alec Martinez and rookie Tanner Pearson scored for the Kings, who were without captain Dustin Brown for a second straight game because of a lower body injury. Jonathan Quick stopped 23 shots for Los Angeles, which fell to 21-1 when leading after two periods.

"I thought they were desperate the whole game, like the way they are in the playoffs. That's the time of year it is. Everybody is playing desperate," said Quick, who was 6-1 with a 1.28 goals-against average in his previous seven games. "I thought we played well enough. I don't think I played well enough. When you give up four goals, you're going to lose the game. I've got to be better."

Yandle tied it with a slap shot from just inside the blue line after he intercepted defenseman Matt Greene's attempted clearing pass from behind the net. Greene was a healthy scratch in the previous eight games.

"It comes down to having to play a full 60 minutes. We didn't do that," Martinez said. "We had a few breakdowns defensively and we can't have that in the third period, especially against a good team. It's a battle in the West. We have to sharpen up."

Halpern put Phoenix ahead 4-3 with a shot from the left circle that appeared to carom off Quick's glove and then the post before it bounced to Coyotes captain Shane Doan for another point blank shot that Quick stopped with a sprawling save.

But an overhead replay showed that Halpern's shot crossed the goal line before it hit Quick's stick.

"We have the headset on the bench, so we got a call from our video guy saying the puck was in. So we were just hoping for the right call," Tippett said.