It's a dangerous way to play, racking up a two-goal lead, watching it disappear and then assembling a frenzied comeback that is useful in the standings but obviously masking worrisome issues.

But with 13 games to go, the Coyotes will pocket points any way they can.

So they won't complain about their 4-3 win Monday against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center, especially since it swung them into the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference with Dallas idle and also helped them gain ground on Vancouver and Winnipeg after both lost earlier in the night.

But it's sure hard to forget about the letdown that preceded this late-game surge. It was the second consecutive game the Coyotes had a two-goal lead evaporate and fourth time in their past nine games it happened.

"It's hard to hold leads in the game right now," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "There's penalties. It's too competitive. You gotta stay with the game all the way through."

But, as per usual, the comeback is more memorable, and this time center Jeff Halpern played savior. He scored with 3:05 remaining on a play that went to video review before it was revealed the goal counted.

Earlier in the period, defenseman Keith Yandle tallied the tying goal after the Coyotes fell behind to the Kings.

After a frenetic first five minutes that saw goalie Mike Smith at one point sprawled on his belly with all of his limbs outstretched like an octopus making an unthinkable save on defenseman Drew Doughty with the paddle of his stick, the Coyotes survived an early Kings power play and being outshot 7-1.

Not long after that penalty expired, winger Rob Klinkhammer pounced on an errant bounce off the end boards and got enough on the shot to have the puck trickle past goalie Jonathan Quick at 6:33.

Only 1:03 later, the Coyotes capitalized on the power play with winger Mikkel Boedker slinging a backhand shot from the slot.

The Kings set their own rally in motion with 2:58 left in the period. A poor pinch by defenseman Michael Stone left a clear path to the net for winger Tanner Pearson, and he beat Smith with a blocker-side shot.