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Coyotes And Kings Scoreless After First Period

Both the Phoenix Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings have had their chances, but neither team has found a way to light the lamp yet.

The Coyotes lineup looks a little different in Game 3, mostly due to Martin Hanzal being sidelined due to a suspension for his hit on Dustin Brown late in Game 2. Coach Dave Tippett has inserted fan favorite Paul Bissonnette into the lineup to add some physical play, as well as Marc-Antoine Pouliot, who only played 13 regular season games with the Coyotes.

Bissonnette only has 1:32 of ice time but has made use of his little time on the ice, stirring things up after the play with a variety of Kings' players. If the Coyotes enforcer finds a partner wearing a Kings sweater, the Desert Dogs could use it to ignite their game.

There has been virtually no neutral ice play. The teams are gunning hard at each other, vying for that first goal. It will be important for the Coyotes confidence to test Jonathan Quick often this game, after failing to get a single puck past him in Game 2. Quick stopped all 11 Phoenix shots in the first period.

At the other end, Mike Smith seems to have rebounded from a lackluster performance in Game 2. By no means was it Smith's fault in in Game 2, as he stopped 36 of 40 shots, but the Coyotes will need a near perfect performance from Smith through the rest of the series if they hope to have a shot at the Stanley Cup. Smith has 9 saves through the first period.

It looked like things could get ugly early as Shane Doan took a selfish roughing penalty just two minutes into the game on Jarret Stoll, but the Coyotes penalty kill easily killed off the Kings man-advantage.

The Coyotes have picked up their play for Game 3 and the ice does not look so tilted in the Kings favor. Staying out of the box will be essential for the 'Yotes though, and even more so when a player is already in there. The penalty box is one place where the more does not mean the merrier.