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.

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