Jason Brough

Video: Kopitar’s ‘power move’ beats Coyotes in OT

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GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) After a wild third period, all Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar thought about in overtime was making sure the game’s final shot slid all the way into the net.

Kopitar scored 36 seconds into overtime to lift the Kings over the Arizona Coyotes 4-3 on Saturday night in a game that featured five third-period goals.

Kopitar skated past Viktor Tikhonov, faked goalie Louis Domingue to the ice with a forehand deke and backhanded the puck into the vacated right side of the net.

“I knew I was going to see some net there,” Kopitar said. “I just wanted to make sure it went in. The ice never is good in overtime.”

“It was just a power move,” Kings captain Dustin Brown said. “I think a lot of guys have that move, but Kopi has the patience few players have to wait it out.”

That saved the Kings on a night when Los Angeles rallied from a one-goal deficit only to squander a two-goal lead.

Drew Doughty, Tanner Pearson and Dustin Brown scored for the Kings, and Los Angeles won for the second time in six games.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored twice and Antoine Vermette added a goal for the Coyotes. Arizona lost for only the second time in its past 10 home games.

Jonathan Quick made 23 saves for the Kings.

The Kings scored three goals in the first 6:23 of the third period for a 3-1 lead, but then the Coyotes took advantage of a match penalty against Jake Muzzin and score twice during the subsequent 5-minute power play.

Muzzin got the penalty for a blind hit on Boyd Gordon with 6:40 left. Gordon was on his knees just inside the blue line when Muzzin drove a hip into Gordon’s head, leaving the Coyotes center face down on the ice.

“It looked pretty nasty,” Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said.

Asked what he saw on the play, Kings coach Darryl Sutter said “Muzzin’s (rear) on Gordon’s face. It was a hockey play. It’s not even a penalty.”

A delay of game call on Alec Martinez 2:33 later led to a 2-minute 5-on-3 advantage, and the Coyotes capitalized on Vermette’s redirection of a shot by Michael Stone with 3:53 remaining.

Ekman-Larsson tied the game 30 seconds later when his shot from the high slot trickled between Quick’s pads for Arizona’s second goal on eight shots during the extended power play.

The Coyotes were aided by an undisciplined opening period from the Kings that led to three power plays. The first came when Milan Lucic cross-checked Connor Murphy behind the Coyotes net shortly after being checked off his feet by Murphy and led to Arizona’s first goal.

Ekman-Larsson took a pass from Mikkel Boedker just outside the right faceoff circle and scored on a wrist shot that sailed over Quick’s right shoulder at 9:43 of the first.

Los Angeles took advantage of a delay of game penalty on Brad Richardson with 14 seconds left in the second period, pulling even on Doughty’s goal 37 seconds into the third.

The Kings took the lead 3:40 later, 2-1, with help from Ekman-Larsson. The defenseman tried to bounce a pass off the boards just outside the Coyotes’ zone but instead sent the puck directly to Pearson, whose shot deflected off Murphy’s stick and past Domingue at 4:17 of the period.

Brown made it 3-1 with 13:37 left, one-timing Nick Shore‘s pass from just below the left circle for the Kings’ second power-play goal.

NOTES: Gordon left the ice under his own power. It wasn’t certain whether he would join the team for their game Sunday in Colorado. … Kings center Jeff Carter left the game early in the first period with an upper-body injury. Carter was sent back to Los Angeles after the game for further evaluation. … Arizona defenseman Zbynek Michalek returned to the ice after missing the past four games with a lower-body injury. … Coyotes center Martin Hanzal was out for the sixth time in seven games with a lower-body injury. … Lucic was playing in his 600th career game. … Brown has 16 goals and 31 points in 64 career games against the Coyotes.

Merry Christmas! Here are PHT’s mid-season Hart Trophy picks

BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 19: Patrick Kane #88 of the Chicago Blackhawks reacts after scoring a goal against the Buffalo Sabres at the First Niagara Center on December 19, 2015 in Buffalo, New York.  Kane's goal tied the Blackhawks 2-2 late in the third period. (Photo by Tom Brenner/ Getty Images)
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PHT is spending Christmas listing the best teams, the most disappointing teams, and making our mid-season awards picks. Because what better day than Christmas to infuriate readers with our opinions!

Hart Trophy

Jason Brough: It’s obviously Patrick Kane. He leads the NHL with 50 points. He’s on pace for 114, which would shatter last year’s Art Ross-winning mark of 87 by Jamie Benn. I doubt Kane will finish with 114 points, but remember, even 100 is a massive accomplishment in today’s game. So is getting a point in 26 straight games. That he’s done it all with two new linemates, one of them a rookie, makes it all the more impressive. There is nobody playing better hockey than he is right now.

Mike Halford: For sake of argument, I guess I’m picking the best of the runners-up because, as Brough so eloquently stated, Kane’s the obvious choice. So, let’s see here…there’s Kane-lite in Johnny Gaudreau, who willed the Flames back into playoff contention with his overtime heroics, and there’s also Benn, sitting right behind Kane in the scoring race.

My pick, though, is Vladimir Tarasenko. The Blues have been decimated by injury, especially at forward — Paul Stastny, Patrik Berglund and Jaden Schwartz, all skill guys, have combined to miss 81 games. By any logic, the Blues should’ve struggled, but Tarasenko was the great equalizer: 22 goals (tied with Benn for the league lead) and 38 points (fifth overall). He’s the main reason St. Louis went into the break sitting third in the NHL.

Merry Christmas! Here are PHT’s mid-season Jack Adams Award picks

BOSTON, MA - MAY 10:  Claude Julien head coach of the Boston Bruins gives his players instructions during the game against the Montreal Canadiens during Game Five of the Second Round of the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the TD Garden on May 10, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.  The Bruins defeated the Canadians 4-2.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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PHT is spending Christmas listing the best teams, the most disappointing teams, and making our mid-season awards picks. Because what better day than Christmas to infuriate readers with our opinions!

Jack Adams Award

Mike Halford: Claude Julien, for one of the most impressive coaching performances in recent years. I mean, think about it: The GM that hired him got fired, then the new GM hemmed and hawed for a month before retaining him, which Julien recognized as a tepid vote of confidence. B’s brass wanted higher tempo, quicker transitions and more scoring. So, Julien delivered. Boston currently boasts the NHL’s best power play, third-ranked offense and went into the break one point back of Atlantic Division-leading Montreal. On top of that — and this is always going to be the hallmark of Julien’s teams — the B’s have gotten significantly better defensively as the season has progressed. With a revamped roster that lost some key pieces in the offseason, that’s some coaching right there.

Jason Brough: I respect your Julien pick because you didn’t just look at the standings and choose the coach of a “surprise” team. It’s ironic; good coaches will always preach process over results, yet that’s not how voters have approached this award. The past few years it’s been way too focused on the results, often with no discernible proof the coach had anything to do with them. That’s why I’m picking Mike Babcock. The Leafs still aren’t winning many games, but they are so much more structured and competitive this year. The reason they’re still losing is simple: they don’t have enough talent, their goaltending has let them down, and they still have a lot to learn. Babcock is working with what he’s been given — which wasn’t much — and he’s doing a great job.

Merry Christmas! Here are PHT’s mid-season Calder Trophy picks

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 17: Artemi Panarin #72 of the Chicago Blackhawks jumps off the glass to celebrate his third period goal against the Edmonton Oilers at the United Center on December 17, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeaed the Oilers 4-0. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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10 Comments

PHT is spending Christmas listing the best teams, the most disappointing teams, and making our mid-season awards picks. Because what better day than Christmas to infuriate readers with our opinions!

Calder Trophy

Mike Halford: Artemi Panarin. Hard to argue with his credentials: 31 points in 36 games, tops among all first-year players, while playing an integral role in Patrick Kane‘s record-setting scoring streak (Kane and Panarin connected 20 times during the run.) Do I take issue with a 24-year-old guy, who started playing professionally in Russia when he was 17, winning the Calder? A bit, yeah, especially since the last five winners were teenagers. But a rookie’s a rookie, and Panarin’s the best of the lot this season.

Jason Brough: I’m gonna go with the leading goal-scorer among rookies. He’s also the fifth-youngest player in the NHL, five years younger than Panarin. I’m, of course, talking about Dylan Larkin, who has 13 goals for the Red Wings, not to mention the potential to be next superstar for a franchise that’s had its share of those. Said GM Ken Holland: “Dylan Larkin, for a lot of reasons — he’s 19 years of age; he’s had a real impact on our team; he’s homegrown; he’s from Waterford, Michigan; he played minor hockey in Detroit — probably has a chance to be the face of the franchise.”

Merry Christmas! Here are PHT’s mid-season Norris Trophy picks

NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 18:  Erik Karlsson #65 of the Ottawa Senators skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on December 18, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Senators 5-2.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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PHT is spending Christmas listing the best teams, the most disappointing teams, and making our mid-season awards picks. Because what better day than Christmas to infuriate readers with our opinions!

Norris Trophy

Jason Brough: This one is easy. It’s Erik Karlsson, who has 38 points in 35 games. That’s the most points of any d-man, and it’s good for sixth in league scoring among all skaters. Yeah, yeah, playing defense involves a lot more than scoring points. But you know what? It also involves a lot more than playing defense. If you can’t move the puck after a change of possession, what good are you? If you can’t contribute to the attack, then you’re just standing around half the time. And besides, it’s not like Karlsson refuses to defend. He leads with the Sens with 71 blocked shots, tied for 18th most in the NHL.

Mike Halford: I’m going with Drew Doughty. Is Karlsson deserving? Yes. But he’ll be 26 years old in May, and winning three Norris Trophies by 26 is insane.

Here’s a list of people that have accomplished the feat:

Bobby Orr
Denis Potvin

END OF LIST.

So if we all agree this is too much, too soon for Karlsson (shut up, you’re agreeing), then this seems like the perfect time to make up for past transgressions. We could totally rectify the times Doughty got boned, like in 2011, when he got the same number of first-place votes as Matt freaking Carle. We could also mercifully put an end to the innumerable “Doughty deserves a Norris” think pieces, which you can read here and here and here and here and here.

And here.

Aaaaaand here.