Sunday, May 20, 2012
Kings: Coyotes stretch lead to 2-0
By Dan Arritt
Western Conference final
Game 4 (Kings lead the series, 3-0)
After the 2nd period:
Phoenix Coyotes 2, Kings 0
The good: Well, at the least the Kings have a comfortable lead in the series. They took their foot off the gas pedal somewhat in the second period, but still managed to out-shoot the Coyotes for the second straight period, owning a 13-9 advantage. Drew Doughty leads the way with five shots on goal and Trevor Lewis has three, plus another that hit the post about three minutes into the period.
The bad: The Kings trail, 2-0, for the first time in the postseason. They’ve allowed two consecutive goals for just the second time in the playoffs as well. The other time was in their 3-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks in Game 4 of their first-round series. Shane Doan scored his second goal of the game with 8:50 remaining in the period. Antoine Vermette won a faceoff against Mike Richards of the Kings and the puck made its way back to Doan, who shot a one-timer past Kings goalie Jonathan Quick. The puck hit the camera inside the goal and shot straight out without lighting the lamp. Quick acted as if he knew the goal was good and so did a handful of Coyotes. Play continued for a few more seconds before the referees had a chance to review the play and they quickly ruled the goal was good. The Kings failed to capitalize on two more power plays in the period, dropping them to 6-for-68 in the postseason. At some point, that futility will jump up and bite them. Today’s looking like that day.
The in between: Not only did the Kings draw iron in the period, but they had two other golden opportunities to score. The first came after Anze Kopitar won a faceoff back to Doughty, whose shot was saved with the right pad of Mike Smith. He was unable to corral the rubber, however, allowing Kopitar to swoop in and poke the puck through his pads. As Smith lay on his back, the puck continued toward the goal line and hit Smith’s glove, giving him an idea where to find it. He rolled over and covered up the puck before the Kings converged. After the Coyotes had taken a two-goal lead, Kopitar stole the puck from Smith behind the net and passed it out front to Dustin Brown while Smith was still out of position. Phoenix left wing Ray Whitney dove into the play and got his stick into Brown’s blade just as he shot, sending the puck fluttering wide.