May 19, 2012, 7:46 PM EDT
On Sunday, the Phoenix Coyotes will host the Los Angeles Kings in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals (3:00 pm ET, NBC). The Kings are up 3-0 in the series; here’s a look at recent history between the two clubs.
Season series tied 3-3
Oct. 20: Los Angeles 2 at Phoenix 0
Oct. 29: at Phoenix 3, Los Angeles 2 (OT)
Dec. 26: at Los Angeles 4, Phoenix 3
Jan. 5: at Los Angeles 1, Phoenix 0 (OT)
Feb. 16: at Phoenix 1, Los Angeles 0
Feb. 21: at Phoenix 5, Los Angeles 4 (SO)
Game 1: Los Angeles 4, Phoenix 2
Two gaffes by Jonathan Quick (particularly a center ice goal given up to Derek Morris) made the score deceptively close. The Kings dominated much of the play, carrying a 48-27 shot advantage. Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown were their usual impact-making selves, but Dwight King‘s two goals ended up being a sign of things to come. This was one of the best Kings’ performances of the playoffs and probably their best team effort of an impressive series.
Game 2: Los Angeles 4, Phoenix 0
While Game 1 was deceptively close, the Kings weren’t as great as the score indicated. Instead, the Coyotes were guilty of a series of self-inflicted wounds, particularly during the second period when they took some uncharacteristically undisciplined penalties. Shane Doan was ejected for boarding Trevor Lewis (which didn’t result in further discipline) while Martin Hanzal was thrown out for boarding Dustin Brown (which netted him a suspension). Amid the carnage, Jonathan Quick (24 saves) had a relatively quiet shutout while Jeff Carter scored his first career playoff hat trick and the Kings’ first playoff trio since Wayne Gretzky did it in 1993.
Game 3: Los Angeles 2, Phoenix 1
This contest was more along the lines of what people expected from this series, but the results weren’t any more positive for the Coyotes. Daymond Langkow scored to give Phoenix its first lead of the series but Anze Kopitar only needed about two minutes to tie it up 1-1. Dwight King continued his improbable playoff success with an unexpectedly gorgeous game-winning goal. Meanwhile, a few questionable penalties left Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett livid.
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