Christopher Gibson speaks English, Finnish and French, but has a Latin phrase etched into the back of his goalie mask: “Luctor et Emergo.” Literally, this means “I struggle and emerge.”
The Kings’ first selection in the 2011 Entry Draft, Gibson certainly struggled in his first game in a Kings uniform. Gibson allowed five goals in the third period as the Kings blew a 6-3 lead, losing 8-7 to the Phoenix Coyotes at Toyota Sports Center. The two teams will play again at 2 p.m. today at TSC, completing the two-game exhibition series between the teams.
Gibson wasn’t the only prospect who slipped on a Kings uniform for the first time Wednesday. That was a factor in 60 minutes of up-and-down hockey.
“There were a lot of nervous guys in that dressing room,” said forward Brandon Kozun, who scored two goals and added an assist on the eve of his third training camp with the Kings.
The nerves showed, especially in the third period, when the Kings were outshot 13-10. The Kings outshot the Coyotes 45-44 overall, an accurate reflection of an up-and-down game with little defense.
Andy Andreoff also had two goals and Robert Czarnik, Ray Kaunisto and Jordan Weal scored one each. Michael Schumacher and Jake Muzzin, who wore the “C”, each had two assists. Andreoff, Muzzin and Nicolas Deslauriers each collected five-minute fighting majors.
Brett Hextall, the son of Kings assistant general manager Ron Hextall, scored two goals for the Coyotes prospects –both against Gibson. Evan Bloodoff also scored twice for Phoenix.
Martin Jones played the first two periods and allowed three goals on 31 shots.