SAN DIEGO — So far, the Kings' rebuilding process is proceeding smoothly.
Third-period goals by Philippe Boucher and Kevin Stevens broke open a close game and lifted the Kings to a 4-1 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes Friday at the Sports Arena, improving their exhibition record to 3-0. The Coyotes, formerly the Winnipeg Jets, are 0-3.
The crowd of 4,577 watched the Kings rally from an early deficit in a fairly physical game. King goalie Jamie Storr, who is competing with Byron Dafoe and Stephane Fiset for a roster spot, stopped 32 shots.
Cliff Ronning, who signed with Phoenix as a free agent this summer, put the Coyotes ahead at 6:30 of the first period with a long shot that bounced past Storr. The Kings matched that at 1:49 of the second period when Finnish rookie Kai Nurminen converted a pass from Ray Ferraro for the team's first power-play goal in three games. Nurminen, 27, played for Finland in the World Cup after being drafted by the Kings in the eighth round of the June entry draft.
Defenseman John Slaney put the Kings, who play Vancouver at the Forum tonight, ahead to stay at the 20-minute mark of the second period on a penalty shot.