Adin Hill found out via text message on his way to Gila River Arena that he was starting in net Tuesday night. Hours later, he finished his day on a high note.
Alex Goligoski scored the decisive goal in the fifth round of a shootout and Hill ended the game with a save on high-scoring center Tyler Toffoli, earning his first NHL win for the Arizona Coyotes in their 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.
"It's exhilarating. It's a dream you have every day growing up as a child," Hill said. "To come here and do it is great. Now I want more."
Arizona squandered a 3-0 lead as Jeff Carter scored two third-period goals for the Kings to send the game to overtime. But the last-place Coyotes rebounded and improved to 11-3-2 in their last 16 games. They climbed out of the NHL cellar with 57 points, one more than Buffalo.
Los Angeles, third in the Pacific Division, is one point behind second-place San Jose with 12 games remaining.
The Kings had what was first ruled the game-winning goal 25 seconds into overtime overturned on goaltender interference after a video review.
"If there was contact I thought it was induced from their player riding Drew (Doughty) into the goalie. That was my take on it, but I don't know what I'm talking about because I'm still confused on the whole issue," Kings coach John Stevens said. "It's a guessing game for me, but that's the call they made and we still had an opportunity in overtime and we didn't take advantage of it."
Carter tied it at 3 with 2:18 to play in the third, deflecting Doughty's shot past Hill, who was pressed into service with Arizona's top two goaltenders unavailable.
The 21-year-old Hill stopped 34 shots and Nick Cousins had a goal and an assist for the Coyotes. Arizona was forced to turn to Hill in net, with No. 1 goalie Antti Raanta missing his fifth straight game due to a lower-body injury and backup Darcy Kuemper unable to start because of an illness.
Kuemper was available as the backup but didn't face the team that traded him to Arizona on Feb. 21.
Hill, an emergency call-up from the minors last Tuesday, had not played since a loss at the New York Rangers on Oct. 26. Arizona was also without coach Rick Tocchet, who missed his first game while away on a leave of absence due to a family matter.
Clayton Keller and Christian Dvorak added goals for the Coyotes.
"We had the good start and all the way through really we played a good game," Goligoski said. "You have to figure out a way to get it there in OT or shootout and we were able to do it."
Tanner Pearson scored for Los Angeles, and Jack Campbell made 26 saves in his second start of the season. The Kings are 2-2-1 in their last five games.
The Kings pulled to 3-2 at 12:03 of the third with Carter's power-play goal when the center redirected Doughty's shot past Hill.
Keller opened the scoring at 14:52 of the first, shooting the puck between Campbell's legs from the side of the net off a pass from Derek Stepan. Keller picked up his team-leading 19th goal of the season and Stepan got his team-high 32nd assist.
Arizona made it 2-0 when Cousins' shot glanced off the heel of Doughty's skate, and the puck trickled over the goal line despite Campbell's efforts to corral it. Cousins was credited with his 11th goal.
Hill stopped Dustin Brown's attempt with the Kings on a power play in the final seconds of the first.
"He still has some work to do but it is great that he got his first win. I liked how he handled himself in the net," Coyotes assistant coach John MacLean said.
The Coyotes made it 3-0 at 10:13 of the second when Cousins collected a turnover, and two passes later, Dvorak converted his 14th goal of the season. The Kings responded 27 seconds later with Pearson's wrister past Hill.
NOTES: Hill became the second-youngest goaltender in franchise history to earn a win. ... Keller became the third Coyotes rookie to reach 50 points, joining Max Domi in 2015-16 and Peter Mueller in 2007-08. ... Doughty has played in 316 consecutive games, 14 behind Anze Kopitar's team record. ... Kings C Tobias Rieder, traded for Kuemper, faced his former team for the first time.
Kings: Host the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday.
Coyotes: Host the Nashville Predators on Thursday.
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