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Coyotes Shut Down Kings


The Los Angeles Kings didn't look like a team that was having trouble scoring goals -- at least not to Phoenix coach Jim Schoenfeld and goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin.

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  • But Khabibulin dealt the Kings their third shutout loss in four games with 31 saves in a 3-0 victory on Sunday. It was his 14th career shutout, tying Bob Essensa's franchise record.

    "We needed him to make some saves," Schoenfeld said after watching his team get outshot 13-4 through the final 20 minutes. "In the third period we sat back a bit and, of course, they sent everything at us."

    The Kings, blanked 3-0 by Tampa Bay's Daren Puppa on Friday night, have gone scoreless in consecutive home games for only the second time in the team's 32-year history and the first time since December 1967. They lost 3-0 decisions to Philadelphia and Minnesota during their inaugural season, two weeks before moving into the Forum.

    "Maybe we needed this to wake us all up," said Luc Robitaille, whose 900th NHL game was quite forgettable. "We need to come out and be desperate. That's the only way to win in this league."

    Jyrki Lumme and Jeremy Roenick scored and Rick Tocchet added a short-handed goal to support Khabibulin's first shutout since Jan. 1, when he blanked Los Angeles 4-0 at Phoenix.

    "I'm not ruling out the fact that we're not pressing," said coach Larry Robinson, whose team has gone 126 minutes and 12 seconds without scoring.

    "I mean, naturally, when you've gone two games without scoring a goal, something's not right. But it's not like we're not getting our chances to score. We had 15 scoring chances tonight. It's just something we have to fight through."

    Robitaille had the Kings' best scoring chance of the first period. But his 10-foot rebound attempt disappeared into Khabibulin's pads athe 13-minute mark after the goalie stopped a wraparound attempt by rookie Josh Green. Los Angeles has only one first-period goal in its last six games.

    "We had our scoring chances, especially in the third period," Robitaille said. "Were in a tough situation right now. We're going to have to keep plugging and keep shooting. It's a situation where you say to yourself, 'Just shoot the puck and it'll hit a skate and go in.'

    "Tonight it must have hit 10 skates, but it went the other way. We're getting tons of chances, but it's just not going in."

    Lumme, who had nine goals in 74 games last season with Vancouver, opened the scoring at 3:49 of the first period with his first goal since joining the Coyotes as a free agent on July 3. It helped the Coyotes finish their five-game road trip with a 3-1-1 record.

    "I'm not a big-time goal-scorer, or anything like that, but it's nice to get it out of the way," Lumme said. "I'm just trying to help the team. You know that with Keith Tkachuk and Jeremy Roenick, you're going to get some chances."

    Lumme carried the puck untouched through the left circle, centered it right through the crease, circled the net and then beat Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Rob Blake to the puck before beating Manny Legace high to the glove side.

    Tocchet made it 2-0 on the Coyotes' first shot of the second period, with four seconds left on a penalty to teammate Daniel Briere. Greg Adams set up Tocchet with a perfect backhanded flip over the stick of defenseman Garry Galley and the puck was spinning when Tocchet beat Legace high to the stick side from 25 feet at the 1:29 mark.

    Roenick banged home a rebound at 2:07 of the third after Legace went to his knees to stop Briere's point-blank shot from the slot and defenseman Sean O'Donnell failed to clear the rebound.

    The Kings, already beset by injuries to goaltenders Stephane Fiset and Jamie Storr and centers Jozef Stumpel and Ian Laperriere, lost defenseman Doug Bodger in the first period with a fractured left hand.

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