Kings: Anze Kopitar's goal ties score, 1-1 after two periods

May, 17, 2012
5/17/12
8:02
PM PT
Western Conference finals

Game 3 (Kings lead the series, 2-0)

After the 2nd period:

Kings 1, Phoenix Coyotes 1

The good: The Kings have been outstanding when it comes to answering a goal by the opposition in these playoffs. That’s what happened after the Coyotes took a 1-0 lead 1:03 into the second period. After some hard work along the boards in the L.A. zone, Anze Kopitar came up with the puck and slid it to Dustin Brown in the middle of the ice. The Phoenix defense completely forgot about Kopitar at that point because he skated ahead and took a long stretch pass from Brown to give him a breakaway. He reached into his bag of shootout tricks and faked a forehead shot before dragging the puck to his backhand, forcing goalie Mike Smith to shoot out his left pad. That left a small opening between his legs and Kopitar finished the “can opener” move by sliding the puck through Smith pads, tying the score, 1-1, just over two minutes after Phoenix had scored. Phoenix got its first power play with about six minutes left, but the Kings killed it with no problem, even creating the only scoring chances.

The bad: The Coyotes caught L.A. napping on their goal as well. Keith Yandle brought the puck out of the defensive zone and looked up ice. Kings right wing Jeff Carter left the middle and went toward Taylor Pyatt on the wall, leaving Daymond Langkow unmarked. Yandle made a short pass ahead to Langkow and he had a step on Kings defensemen Alec Martinez, leaving his partner, Willie Mitchell, to try and close the gap. Before he could get there, Langkow let go of a wrist shot in the high slot and it trickled through the pads of goalie Jonathan Quick and across the goal line for a 1-0 lead. It was the first lead of the series for Phoenix, and the first time the Kings trailed since midway through the first period of Game 1 against the St. Louis Blues in the West semifinals, a span of 364 minutes 6 seconds. The Kings are getting destroyed in the faceoff circle, winning just 11 of 36 draws. The Kings also had five more giveaways in the second period, giving them 12 for the game.

The in between: Fans at Staples Center weren’t happy with Shane Doan’s reach-around on Brown's face, followed by Smith getting a free time out afterward to have his skates adjusted, just as the Kings were regrouping for another push following Kopitar’s goal. Doan has seven hits but no shots on goal in the game. Phoenix did get another after-the-whistle roughing penalty, but the Kings could not make them pay and are 1-for-23 with the man advantage at Staples Center during this postseason.

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