Andreoff
Andy Andreoff #15 of the Los Angeles Kings celebrates with Kyle Clifford #13 after scoring a second period goal against the Arizona Coyotes at Staples Center on March 16, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES – Facing a must-win game to keep pace with the NHL's Western Conference playoff race, the Kings got a favorable opponent in the lowly Arizona Coyotes on Monday night at Staples Center. Rookie Andy Andreoff scored his first career goal and the Kings defeated the minnows of the Pacific Division 1-0.

The 23-year-old kid from Canada was playing in place of the injured Jaret Stoll, who missed his second consecutive game with an upper-body injury. Andreoff's first NHL goal was also a game-winner and it came at the 18:55 mark of the second period.

“Not many players get a chance of playing in the National Hockey League,” said Kings head coach Darry Sutter. “So to score a goal is good for him. Hopefully, he has lots of game winners left in him.”

It was Andreoff’s first career point as well, and it came off of a great feed from Jordan Nolan. Andreoff took the cross-ice pass to right side of the net, stopped, set himself, and slid the puck just underneath Mike Smith’s pad for the goal.

“I kind of blacked out,” said Andreoff of the goal. “I couldn’t really hear anything, I was just shocked I got the monkey off my back, I was definitely relieved. It’s a dream come true, everyone wants to get their first NHL goal.”

Jonathan Quick stopped 25 shots for his sixth shutout of the season, and franchise record 37th of his career.

“You have to prepare the same way for every game,” said Quick about his performance. “Tonight was no different.”

Smith made 34 saves in a losing effort for the Coyotes. The Coyotes are 1-13-1 since February 10th, and have not won a game in regulation since defeating Columbus 4-1 on February 3rd. Their lackluster offense is to blame, as Arizona has scored just eight goals over their last eight games.

“We played 200-foot hockey; through the neutral zone, out of our end quicker, and get pucks to the net,” said Smith after the game. “When it’s going tough scoring wise, it’s just about getting pucks and people to the net. I know we talk about it a lot but we need more of that.”

With the win, the defending Stanley Cup Champions climbed back into the Western Conference playoff race reclaiming the 8th seed from the Winnipeg Jets. The Kings are tied with the Calgary Flames for third in the Pacific and are one point behind Vancouver for second place. The Kings have just 13 games remaining to avoid becoming the eighth team in NHL history to miss the playoffs following a Stanley Cup title.

Andreoff skated in just his 15th game of the season for Los Angeles as the physical forward was in the AHL most of last season. Andreoff impressed Kings coaches during the 2014 Stanley Cup playoff run while a member of the Kings practice squad known as the “Black Aces.”

Game Notes:
Kings center, Jaret Stoll, missed his second consecutive game with an upper body injury. Before the game, the Kings wore green warm-up jerseys in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.

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