Arizona Coyotes beat the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 on Tuesday night. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Hill shines again as Coyotes beat Kings 2-1 for 4th straight

LOS ANGELES — Credit the Arizona Coyotes’ four-game winning streak to rookie goaltender Adin Hill. Or maybe newly acquired centre Nick Schmaltz.

Either way, the Coyotes are getting the best out of the two 22-year-olds and it is resulting in victories.

Schmaltz had a power-play goal, Hill made 25 saves and Arizona beat the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 on Tuesday night for its fourth straight win.

Lawson Crouse scored a short-handed goal for the Coyotes, undefeated since acquiring Schmaltz in a trade with Chicago on Nov. 25. Hill has stopped 84 of 86 shots since replacing an injured Antti Raanta to start the third period at Minnesota on Nov. 27.

“He’s unflappable right now,” Arizona coach Rick Tocchet said. “He’s feeling it and it’s a nice story.”

Tocchet said he hasn’t decided whether to stick with Hill going forward. Raanta and Darcy Kuemper are close to returning from lower-body injuries.

“Honestly, for me, we’re just taking it a day at a time,” Tocchet said. “You have to right now. He’s done a great job for us since that Minnesota game on. He’s come in and he’s put the plug in for us. We have some guys hurt and he’s holding the fort.”

As for Schmaltz, he has developed an immediate rapport with standout forward Clayton Keller and is looking like the player he was billed to be. The Blackhawks drafted Schmaltz 20th overall in 2014, but dealt him to the Coyotes in a swap of three underachieving first-round picks.

Schmaltz put the Coyotes ahead 2-0 at 5:56 of the second period, extending his point streak to three games. He has two goals and three assists in four games with Arizona.

Crouse gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead at 18:25 of the first with his fifth goal.

It was the NHL-leading 11th short-handed goal for the Coyotes, already tied for second-most in a season since the franchise moved from Winnipeg to Arizona in 1996. The Coyotes had 14 short-handed goals in 1999-2000, and 11 in 2007-08.

The Coyotes also lead the NHL by killing 90 per cent of penalties this season. They have allowed a league-low eight power-play goals.

“Obviously, we’re trying to stop the puck going into our own net and when you can chip in offensively, it’s a bonus,” said Crouse, who has two short-handed goals. “I think we’re just playing to our systems, playing fast and jumping at the right times and getting chances and obviously bearing down at the right times.”

Alec Martinez scored and Jonathan Quick made 18 saves for the Kings, held to two goals or fewer in five consecutive games.

Martinez made it 2-1 at 14:15 of the third, scoring for the second straight game.

Dustin Brown appeared to have scored the tying goal with 56.4 seconds remaining, but it was immediately waived off because his stick was over his head when he tipped the puck down to himself before shooting.

“We’ve got to play a lot more minutes like we did the last five to seven minutes,” Kings centre Anze Kopitar said. “You could tell there was desperation there. You’ve just got to play like that for 60 minutes.”

NOTES: Kings forward Trevor Lewis (foot) had surgery and will be out four to five weeks. Lewis has missed 11 games since getting injured in practice on Nov. 16. … Tocchet did not have an update on forward Michael Grabner, who injured his eye Saturday against St. Louis. … The Kings activated forward Nikita Scherbak (lower body) off injured reserve. The team claimed Scherbak, a first-round draft pick by Montreal in 2014, off waivers on Sunday.

By The Associated Press

Just Posted

Man dies after being shot in Lacombe

A man is dead after being shot, Lacombe police say. Early Sunday,… Continue reading

One person dies in hospital after house fire erupts in Calgary

CALGARY — The Calgary Fire Department says a person has died in… Continue reading

Jury finds former SNC-Lavalin executive Sami Bebawi guilty on all charges

MONTREAL — A former SNC-Lavalin executive on trial for fraud and corruption… Continue reading

Festival of Trees volunteers honoured at breakfast

This year’s Festival of Trees was able to provide the Red Deer… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: A masterclass on H&M knitwear

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Thursday Join us at the Senior Center Downtown House (5414 43 St.… Continue reading

Red Deer Optimist Chiefs split weekend series

CAC 4 Optimist Chiefs 2 After wins in seven of the last… Continue reading

Sales of electric vehicles plummet in Ontario after rebate cancellation

TORONTO — Sales of electric vehicles in Ontario have plummeted since the… Continue reading

Partway through first term, Quebec Premier Legault already planning his exit

SAN FANCISCO, United States — Political power has an expiration date for… Continue reading

Unifor announces boycott campaign against Co-op in refinery labour dispute

REGINA — The union that represents hundreds of locked-out workers at a… Continue reading

Defence minister says Canada ‘very fortunate’ to have Vance as defence chief

OTTAWA — Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has come out in support of… Continue reading

Red Deer Vipers earn wild comeback win

The Red Deer Vipers needed a comeback to top the Mountainview Colts… Continue reading

Big Valley’s Zeke Thurston captures second world title at NFR

Zeke Thurston is quickly becoming one of the most decorated saddle bronc… Continue reading

Most Read