LOS ANGELES — Darcy Kuemper made 26 saves for his second shutout of the season for the Arizona Coyotes in a 4-0 win against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Saturday.
The Coyotes (21-22-5) are one point ahead of the St. Louis Blues in fourth place in the eight-team Honda West Division. The top four teams will qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet and defenseman Alex Goligoski each said they watched the Blues’ 5-3 win against the Colorado Avalanche earlier Saturday. Goligoski said the result energized the team, especially knowing St. Louis still has three games in hand.
“You can use these situations either way,” Goligoski said. “If you see that team lose, it gives you juice. And if you see ’em win, you’ve got to win. Anything you can do to get that chip on your shoulder or that extra motivation, that’s valuable.”
Phil Kessel had a goal and an assist, Goligoski had two assists, and Derick Brassard had an assist for his 500th NHL point for Arizona, which had won one of its previous eight games.
“Everybody kind of showed up tonight and we’re going to need that every night,” Tocchet said. “We’re going to need everybody playing like that. You don’t need anybody playing great or spectacular. We just need everybody to play like a good, solid game, and I thought we got that tonight.”
Calvin Petersen made 36 saves for the Kings (17-22-6), who are seven points behind the Coyotes with three games in hand. Los Angeles was playing the second game of a back-to-back after losing to the Minnesota Wild 4-2 on Friday.
“It was just an empty night,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “Legs. Thought process. Emotion. They took it out of us early and we couldn’t recover from it.”
John Hayden‘s first goal with the Coyotes made it 1-0 at 12:47 of the first period.
Brassard had the primary assist, reaching 500 points (194 goals, 306 assists) in 897 games in 14 NHL seasons with eight teams.
“It’s pretty, pretty special to be out there for ‘Brass’ getting his 500th point,” Hayden said. “I remember back when I was in school [at Yale] and he was with the [New York] Rangers, we trained together in the offseason, so to be here now with him is pretty special. He’s easy to play with, he’s a great veteran, and he’s great in the locker room.”
Lawson Crouse made it 2-0 36 seconds into the second period, tipping Goligoski’s shot from the blue line.
Jakob Chychrun scored his 14th goal to put Arizona ahead 3-0 at 4:19 of the third. It was his third power-play goal.
Kessel made it 4-0 at 12:56. He needs two points for 900 in the NHL.
Kings captain Anze Kopitar said there was not enough desperation in their play considering the stakes.
“Playing with a lot more energy, playing with a lot more emotion,” Kopitar said. “I don’t think that the connection is there that needs to be to win games, or these types of games where you’re battling for spots. We’re going to have to learn that and certainly get better.”
NOTES: Coyotes goalie Antti Raanta did not play because of an upper-body injury and is day to day. Tocchet said Raanta did not feel right when he woke up but does not believe it is anything serious. … Adin Hill backed up Kuemper. … Goligoski has six points (two goals, four assists) in his past six games. … Chychrun leads NHL defensemen with 14 goals, one more than Darnell Nurse of the Edmonton Oilers. … Kuemper has 20 NHL shutouts.