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.