Shane Doan scored twice and Mike Smith posted his third shutout of the postseason to avoid being swept by the Los Angeles Kings and to keep the Phoenix Coyotes Cinderella season alive
The Los Angeles Kings outshot the Coyotes 36 to 21, but Smith stood tall. It was an impressive performance, but the Phoenix goaltender got some good bounces and his post took a beating.
Smith only mistake came when he came out to play the puck in the second period. Smith, who is praised for his puck play, attempted to pass the puck up the ice but instead put it in the feet Dustin Brown. A sprawling Ray Whitney would deflect the shot though, and bail Smith out.
Doan's first goal came late in the first period on the power play after he skated out of the corner and flipped a backhand shot right under the arm of Jonathan Quick.
It took a video review for Doan's second goal to be counted. Doan ripped a shot from the point that hit a goal-cam and bounced out quickly. Antoine Vermette threw his hands in the air in celebration of his captains goal, but play continued.
After further review it was obvious the puck fully crossed the line, and the dissapointed Staples Center crowd booed referee Wes McCauley as he confirmed that the Coyotes second goal was good.
The goals were Doan's fourth and fifth of the postseason. Vermette, who got the assist on Doan's second goal, leads the team with ten points.
Both teams power plays have been abysmal. The Kings have only scored one goal on 31 power play chances, while Doan's goal snapped Phoenix's 0-22 power play goal drought.
The Coyotes have been called for nearly twice as many penalties during the series. While some have been undisciplined plays, like Yandle's roughing penalty midway through the second period, other calls have been very questionable.
Not enough can be said about the play of Doan and how he has come through when his team needs it most. The Coyotes had only manged to get three pucks past quick during the first three games of the series. Doan made Quick look mortal in Game 4 with his two goals.
The Coyotes offense has been bad. Whitney and Radim Vrbata, the Coyotes two leading scorers during the regular season, have been invisible this series. Martin Hanzal and Lauri Korpikoski have been hampered by injury, and have played inconsistent when in the lineup. Doan's performance may be the spark his team needs.
Only three teams have come back from a 3-0 series deficit in NHL history, but why not the Coyotes. They didn't listen when people said hockey doesn't belong in the desert, or when everyone had them pegged to lose in the first round. The Coyotes regained their swagger in Game 4 that they had when knocking off Chicago and Nashville earlier in the playoffs.
Now they have to keep it going.
The series returns to the desert for Game 5 Tuesday. The Coyotes will have a sellout, Whiteout crowd behind them, crossing their fingers that it will not be the last time they see their Desert Dogs on the ice this season.
The puck drops at 6 p.m. PST at Jobing.com Arena Tuesday night.