Kings Go Up 3 Games on Coyotes
The Los Angeles Kings have looked nothing short of dominating throughout the postseason. Although last night was one of their weakest performances of the playoffs, they still managed to hang on to a 2-1 lead. The rookie, Dwight King was able to beat the Phoenix Coyotes goaltender, Mike Smith on the power play to take the lead early on in the third period.
The victory over the Coyotes last night makes the Kings 11-1 in their first 12 postseason games. In all the years there has been a postseason in the NHL, only five franchises have been able to be this dominating. Of those five, only two teams were able to win the Stanley Cup.(Montreal Canadiens 1968, 1976)
Not only have the Kings shown their dominance this postseason, but they also had to do it the hardest way possible, being the eighth seed in the Western Conference. Going through the best teams of the West, the Kings beat the Vancouver Canucks in five games and swept the St. Louis Blues.
Although the road to where they have gotten was tough, the Kings got off on the wrong foot in Game 3. The Coyotes were able to get the first goal of the game for the first time in this series. Just about a minute into the second period, Daymond Langkow received a great pass from Keith Yandle, and was able to beat Kings goaltender, Jon Quick on a breakaway.
Soon after Langkow's goal, Kings standout, Anze Kopitar had a chance on a breakaway that he buried with a nifty little deke, sliding the puck right between Smith's legs and into the net, to tie the game up at one apiece. Kopitar's breakaway was due in large part to Dustin Brown's ability to forecheck and deliver a great pass.
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One would think that after the Coyotes received over 50 minutes of penalties in Game 2, there would be an emphasis on discipline. Unfortunately for the Coyotes, the discipline clearly was not there, considering the six penalties they committed. The Coyotes captain, Shane Doan did the exact opposite of discipline, registering two penalties.
When a team like the Kings get a ton of time on the man advantage, one power play has to be converted. For whatever reason however, the high-potent offense of the Kings could not get a power play goal, even with six opportunities. Lucky enough for the Kings, they were operating just fine without the man advantage.
Within the first two minutes of the third period, the rookie sensation, King was able to fire a shot right by Smith to give the home team the lead, 2-1. It is pretty fitting for a rookie to have the same last name as the team he plays for (Dwight King), not to mention scoring the game winning goal.
King is just one goal shy of a franchise record in goals by a rookie in one post season. The Kings have been spreading out the scoring, oddly enough. The spread out scoring means one of two things. Either the Kings are simply this good or the superstars of the Kings are slowing down. Considering that Jeff Carter scored a hat-trick in a 4-0 win in Game 2, it is obvious that the Kings superstars are not slowing down.
The Kings have a chance to not only sweep the Coyotes at home, but they also have a strong chance at winning their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. For the Coyotes, the future looks bleak considering they have gone down three games to the Kings. However, this would not be the first or last time a team has come back from a 3-0 deficit in a series.
Mike Richards and Carter know a 3-0 lead can be lost all too well from their time on the Philadelphia Flyers. They Flyers went down three games to the Boston Bruins, but battled back, winning four straight games, getting the Flyers to the Stanley Cup Finals, only to lose to the Chicago Blackhawks. So can the comeback happen? Of course. Will it happen? The answer to that question is entirely up to the Kings at this point.
By: Stephen London
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer