GLENDALE, AZ - MAY 22: Martin Hanzal #11 and David Schlemko #6 of the Phoenix Coyotes react after losing to the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 in overtime in Game Five of the Western Conference Final during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Arena on May 22, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

2012 Western Conference Finals: Coyotes Season Comes To An End In A Controversial Game 5 Overtime

The Los Angeles Kings beat the Phoenix Coyotes in Game 5 to secure a spot in the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals.

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2012 Western Conference Finals: Coyotes Season Comes To An End In A Controversial Game 5 Overtime

Dustin Penner beat Mike Smith at 17:42 of overtime in Game 5 to send the Los Angeles Kings to the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Finals and end the Phoenix Coyotes Cinderella season Tuesday night.

Penner would gather a fluttering puck and beat Smith between the pads. The Kings remain a perfect 8-0 on the road this postseason.

Penner's goal came just seconds after a controversial hit from Kings captain Dustin Brown. Brown came across his own blue line and hit Coyotes defenseman Michal Rozsival knee-to-knee after the play was blown offside.

Brown cannot be blamed for hitting Rozsival late, since it came just moments after the whistle, but Brown lead with his knee and sent Rozsival to the locker room.

Here are the opinions of NBC's crew on the hit.

Mike Milbury vs. Jeremy Roenick over Dustin Brown hit (PUCK DADDY) (via gwyshynski)

Brown's hit was not the only controversial moment in the overtime period.

Drew Doughty was called for a weak interference call on Ray Whitney at 10:54 of overtime. The call was not something you usually see in an overtime period. Most of the time the referees let the players play and if the Coyotes would have scored on that power play the Kings would have surely had an argument.

Another strange moment came when Mike Smith lost his glove for nearly 30 seconds. Smith attempted to cover the puck when the pesky Kings captain, Brown, came in and poked the puck, and Smith's glove, into the corner.

Smith remained without a glove as the Kings got into position to end the game. Smith used his bare hand to grab his post and regain his balance as the puck just slid off of one Kings stick as he attempted a wraparound goal. Then Anze Kopitar had the puck in the slot, just barley losing it before getting a shot on the one-armed Smith.

According to the NBC Sports Network announcers, there is no rule stating that play must be stopped if a goaltender loses his glove. Helmet, yes. Glove, no.

Smith's hand would remain unharmed and the Kings would not score, but it should be something that the NHL rules committee looks at. Imagine if a franchise goalie breaks his hand or worse due to losing his glove in a play like this.

Smith would finished the game with 47 saves and has to go into the offseason with his head up.

Jonathan Quick has to be the front-runner for the Conne Smythe trophy. Quick has, literally, saved the day for the Kings on multiple occasions.

"The first period was tough," Penner said. "They threw everything at us. Quick hung in there for us, made some big saves, and we battled back. We couldn't have done it without him."

Quick would save 38 pucks in Game 5, as his team secured the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl for winning the Western Conference.

The Coyotes season came to an end Tuesday, and while the Stanley Cup Finals were only three wins away, not a single Coyote should be disappointed with their effort during 2011-2012 season.

Simply put, this has been the best season the franchise has ever had. All with the distraction of ownership and relocation looming.

Doan, Smith and the entire Coyotes organization have proved that hockey belongs in the desert.


Carter's Hat Trick Leads Kings To Dominant Win Over Coyotes

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Los Angeles Kings won Game 2 of the NHL Western Conference finals 4-0 over the Phoenix Coyotes Tuesday night at Arena. But it sure felt like the death blow to the Coyotes' playoff run, even though L.A. leads the series 2-0.

So crushing was the loss that the Coyotes were questioning their own heart and desire after the game. Goalie Mike Smith wondered aloud if guys are just "happy to be here" in the conference finals and that they need to take it all in and realize that they might not ever get another opportunity such as this, to play for the Stanley Cup.

The Coyotes also skated off the ice with the spectre of possible suspensions looming for captain Shane Doan and teammate Martin Hanzal, both who were given game misconducts for boarding -- checking Kings players into the boards with recklessness. Hanzal rocked the Kings' Dustin Brown at 11:01 of the third period, Brown staying down on his stomach for a few moments.

Doan was sent off for a hit at 16:29 of the second period.

"I'm not going to worry about the discipline. The league will take care of that. We have to regroup and go in there and try to steal a game on the road," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "The Doan penalty is an interesting one. A player can't put himself in that position."

Tippett felt the Kings' Trevor Lewis turned his back to Doan before the hit. "You can't stop. That's the way I saw that hit," Tippett said.

The Coyotes were a penalty machine, fair or unfair, and served 56 minutes of time in the box combined. The Kings scored goals on two 5-on-3 power plays, and center Jeff Carter had a hat trick including a goal with 7:04 left in the third period to complete the scoring.

"It was disappointing the way it finished. Unfortunately the penalties took the game away from us," Tippett said. "I think you have to give them credit but I certainly think we can show better than we are right now."

Jonathan Quick, maybe the best player still playing at present, stopped all 24 Coyotes shots. The Phoenix power play was non-existent, going 0-for-4.

"Anytime you spend half the period or more in the penalty box, eventually a team with their skill level is going to score," Coyotes goalie Mike Smith said.

Here's more from Smith after the game:

Phoenix's Keith Yandle refused to say the Kings got under the Coyotes' skin. He was among those to serve penalty minutes.

"It is what it is. It's something we have to play through," Yandle said. "We've been good on the road all year. We take pride in being a pretty good road team."

Yandle also didn't seem to think Doan, based on what he saw, will be suspended.

Left winger Lauri Korpikoski said the Coyotes are confident going on the road. But the Kings have won seven straight playoff games and appear to be a juggernaut.

There is one other thought to keep in mind. If a sale of the Coyotes to Greg Jamison for some reason does not go through this offseason, Tuesday could have been the last Phoenix Coyotes game in Glendale, especially if the Kings sweep the series. It's a daunting prospect, but a very real one given the history of attempts to find a full-time owner for this team.

Game 3 is Thursday night at the Staples Center.


Kings Up 3-0, Game (And Perhaps Series?) Well In Hand

The Phoenix Coyotes are no strangers to trailing by one after two periods in a playoff game this season. But now they fins themselves down 3-0 in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals to the Los Angeles Kings, and appear to have had the life sucked out of them.

It was 2-0 after Dustin Penner passed to Jeff Carter for the open shot and goal with 15:13 to play in the period. Then frustration seemed to set in for the Coyotes with about five minutes to play. Keith Yandle was given two minutes for roughing, and while he was serving his penalty, Coyotes captain Shane Doan checked Kings' center Trevor Lewis into the boards.

The hit was violent and drew blood, and apparently that was enough for the officials to assess Doan with five minutes for boarding and a game misconduct. Adios, capitan... for the rest of the night.

So it was a 5-on-3 for the Kings for a few seconds, extended when Daymond Langkow was also given two minutes for slashing at the same time as the Doan penalty.

As if the Coyotes couldn't unravel any more, goalie Mike Smith smacked Kings captain Dustin Brown in the back with his stick and Brown crumpled to the ice in his best imitation of a soccer player play-acting for a call. The officials saw through Brown's act and gave him two minutes for diving, but Smith was given two minutes for slashing, which for some reason he never served.

Nevertheless, the Coyotes couldn't keep L.A. from another goal, especially on a 5-on-3, and Anze Kopitar shot the puck past Smith with 1:11 to play in the period to make it 3-0. Carter was given credit for the goal later, Kopitar the assist.

And now the Coyotes face their worst deficit of the playoffs. It looks veeeeerrry bleak.


Kings Out To 1-0 Lead After First Period

The good and the bad of Game 2 so far for the Phoenix Coyotes is this: They got off to a better start in Game 2 as opposed to Game 1 of the NHL Western Conference finals against the Los Angeles Kings, but they find themselves down 1-0 after giving up the all-important, tone-setting opening goal of the game.

The Kings outshot the Coyotes 15-9, and while that's better than 16-4 from Game 1, one can only wonder if the Coyotes are starting to realize that this Kings team might be destined for even bigger thing, as in, the Stanley Cup. L.A. is trying to go 7-0 on the road in the playoffs and has dominated all three playoff opponents so far.

That said, there are two periods left to play. Coyotes coach Dave Tippett shook up the top three lines, opening the game with his second line as the starters (Shane Doan, Antoine Vermette and Ray Whitney in place of Mikkel Boedker) in an apparent attempt to jumpstart the attack. It seemed to work, with new combinations of players coming onto the ice, but the Coyotes couldn't turn it into a goal.

Whitney's nice stick handling produced a quality shot with 14:35 left in the period at the Kings' Jonathan Quick saved. The Coyotes killed a penalty, but Drew Doughty's shot was redirected by teammate Dwight King for a goal with 6:45 to play.

The puck sailed over Mike Smith's stick side. Smith was otherwise stalwart in goal again, keeping Phoenix from trailing by more with his saves.


Kings For A Day: L.A. Skates Past Coyotes 4-2 To Grab 1-0 Series Lead

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Safe to say, the Phoenix Coyotes look like they've met their match. And they've certainly seen what it's like to play the hottest team in the NHL after a disappointing 4-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals Sunday at Arena.

More: Dogs get pawed in game one

The Kings played so well that they probably could have won this game by more than two goals. They've won a club record six straight playoff games and are 6-0 on the road in the playoffs. They're on a roll of rolls, and the Coyotes need to play much better in order to stop it.

"I thought their whole team was better than our team," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said after watching his team get outshot 48-27. The Kings killed four penalties, won 57 percent of all faceoffs, pressured the Coyotes defensemen for almost the entire game and kept the Coyotes from a lot of puck possession in the Kings' zone.

"The will to get things done is going to have to improve greatly," Tippett said. He spoke in some cliches, but the point was well understood: Play better, or get manhandled by the Kings the way they dominated the Vancouver Canucks and St. Louis Blues earlier in the playoffs.

Mikkel Boedker and Derek Morris scored for the Coyotes, Morris from center ice in the first period. But the Coyotes couldn't seize the momentum.

The Coyotes trail in a playoff series for the first time this postseason, and now winning Game 2 Tuesday night becomes imperative. When the Kings go up 2-0, they close. L.A. had 2-0 leads on both the Canucks and Blues and beat Vancouver 4 games to 1 and swept St. Louis.

All of this from the No. 8 and final seed out of the West. Dustin Brown, the Kings' star left winger, was everything as advertised coming into this series. He recorded his seventh goal of the playoffs -- it gave the Kings a 3-2 lead at 2:11 of the third period -- and proved to be the game winner.

Dwight King, a rookie, scored twice, his last goal an empty net job after a turnover by the Coyotes that left King with an easy target. The goal, with 47 seconds to play, sent the Whiteout home crowd heading for the exits.

The crowd of 17,134 featured a few Kings black jerseys, but Coyotes fans were amped up for the team's first appearance in the conference finals.

Here's proof:

The Coyotes, to a man, were disappointed in their slow start. A layoff of seven days not having played was not an excuse the Coyotes used, either.

"It's frustrating," Phoenix's Antoine Vermette said. "They were coming hard with big bodies.

"We're going to face a better team, I think," Vermette added when asked if there's a difference between the Kings and the other teams the Coyotes faced in the playoffs, Nashville and Chicago. "They've been rolling, they've had success and we saw that. It was a tight game. It didn't come out the way we wanted."


Coyotes, Kings Head To Third Period Tied at 2

Happy Mothers Day from Glendale, Ariz., where those of us inside Arena are chilling out of the 100-plus degree heat outside. Twenty minutes remain in Game 1 of the NHL Western Conference finals and this one between the Los Angeles Kings and Phoenix Coyotes is far from over.

The Kings have outplayed the Coyotes overall, but they can't put away the plucky home team. After winger Dwight King (appropriately named) finished a 2-on-1 by taking a pass from teammate Mike Richards and scoring at 8:02 of the second period, the Kings went on a power play. But the Coyotes turned them back.

At 4:22 of the second, Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown had a chance to team up for a two-goal L.A. lead, but Brown's shot was stopped. Less than a minute later, Richards had a redirect almost go in, but it was saved.

Basically, the Kings could be easily ahead in this game. But the Coyotes went from four first-period shots to 14 in the second. One of those 14 found the net, as playoff ace Mikkel Boedker scored with 1:55 left to tie the game again.

Shane Doan provided the pass from behind the net to Boedker for the shot, but no way Doan can collect the loose puck for that pass if not for teammate Antoine Vermette, who kept Kings' defenseman Drew Doughty from getting to it.

Doan has been a force, leading the game in hits given with six. It's looking more and more like the goaltenders -- the lead characters for both teams going into this series -- will decide with their ability get to pucks who wins Game 1.

Boedker has four playoff goals this past month, including Sunday, and Doan has four assists with five for Vermette. Daymond Langkow has an assist in the game, his sixth of the postseason.


Morris Mid-Ice Goal Has Coyotes, Kings Tied 1-1

Face it, Phoenix Coyotes fans, if not for Derek Morris and his wonder-shot from near the middle of the ice that somehow eluded Jonathan Quick in the Los Angeles Kings' net, the Kings would be leading Game 1 of the NHL Western Conference finals after one period of play.

In fact, the Coyotes are lucky to be tied in a game that has seen them outshot 16-4 by the Kings, the West's No. 8 seed brimming with confidence .

The Kings set the tone early, peppering the Coyotes' Mike Smith with shots and attacking the Phoenix zone in waves. Less than four minutes into the game, center Anze Kopitar controlled a bouncing puck and slipped a backhand shot past Smith to give the Kings a 1-0 lead.

The shot rose above Smith's glove hand. But Smith turned back into Superman moments later when he managed to lunge all the way across his body with more than half the net open for a shot by Jeff Carter that was stopped.

The Kings took the game's first eight shots before the Coyotes were credited with their first. Dustin Brown, perhaps the best non-goaltender on the ice in this year's playoffs, put plenty of pressure on the Coyotes defense in the period.

Morris' goal seemed to come out of nowhere. He took a pass, wound up and fired from center ice and beat Quick at 13:26 of the period.

The Coyotes will open the second period with 1:42 left on a power play, hoping to take advantage. The Kings have clearly been the better team thus far in the first game of the Wayne Gretzky Cup.

PS -- A smattering of empty seats at Arena. It's the conference finals people! Tsk, tsk. Still, the atmosphere has been wild.

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