GLENDALE, Ariz. -- This cycle of events will play out several more times this season. The Coyotes will get a little lax with their structure and defensive game, coach Dave Tippett will growl loudly and the pack will close ranks again.
That's what happened in Tuesday's 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings at Jobing.com Arena, but the circumstances made it a little more satisfying for the home team.
Phoenix played the game without suspended center Martin Hanzal, injured fourth-line center Jeff Halpern, injured wing Lauri Korpikoski and injured defenseman Rusty Klesla, making the lineup a patchwork of juggled lines and minor league players like Jordan Szwarz and Andy Miele.
Despite all the changes, the Coyotes got strong efforts up and down the lineup and in between the pipes from goalie Mike Smith (41 saves) to avenge an embarrassing 7-4 loss in Los Angeles five days earlier, and a sloppy 5-4 win over Edmonton on Saturday.
"It was the kind of response we were looking for from our group ...