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Los Angeles Kings end the Arizona Coyotes’ playoff hopes

May 5, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Kings goaltender Calvin Petersen (40) makes a save as Arizona Coyotes center Lane Pederson and center Jaret Anderson-Dolan (28) battle for position during the first period at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Gabriel Vilardi scored two goals as the Los Angeles Kings earned a 4-2 victory over the Coyotes on Wednesday in Glendale, Ariz., eliminating Arizona from playoff contention.

Los Angeles’ Anze Kopitar reached 1,000 career points on a late assist.

Sean Walker amassed a goal and two assists and Jaret Anderson-Dolan also scored a goal for the Kings, who earned consecutive victories at Arizona in a span of three days. Los Angeles goaltender Calvin Petersen made 28 saves.

Kopitar’s milestone moment came when he was credited with an assist on Walker’s empty-net goal with 37 seconds remaining. Kopitar became the fourth Kings player to reach 1,000 points, joining Marcel Dionne (1,307), Luc Robitaille (1,154) and Dave Taylor (1,069).

Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Jakob Chychrun each scored goals for the Coyotes, whose longshot playoff chances got a reprieve when the St. Louis Blues lost in a shootout to the Anaheim Ducks earlier Wednesday but ended with the defeat.

Conor Garland assisted on both Arizona goals, and Adin Hill stopped 18 shots.

The Coyotes have faded badly down the season’s stretch, going 3-11-1 over the past 15 games.

Vilardi’s game-winning goal came at 4:42 of the third period. He took a pass from Lias Andersson and scored on a quick wrist shot in traffic in front of the Arizona goal.

Ekman-Larsson gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead just 1:19 into the game when he scored on a shot from near the blue line as Petersen was screened by traffic in front of the goal.

The Kings were able to jump in front, getting a goal from Vilardi at 4:29 of the first period and another from Anderson-Dolan at 13:03 of the first. Kings rookie Quinton Byfield, the second overall selection in the 2020 NHL Draft, had a secondary assist on Anderson-Dolan’s goal for his first career point.

The Coyotes capped a high-energy opening period when Chychrun scored on a power play at 17:44. It gave Chychrun a goal in consecutive games against the Kings, and it was his 18th of the season, tops among NHL defensemen.

Arizona led 11-4 on shots in the second period, but neither team managed to score.

–Field Level Media