FINAL
NYI
2
OTT
1
FINAL
BOS
2
DET
3
FINAL
EDM
2
ANA
3
FINAL
PHX
0
LAK
4
PHX
37-30-15
LAK
46-28-8

17 SOG
32 SOG

Kings blank Coyotes, clinch playoff berth

Curtis Zupke  - NHL.com Correspondent | Thursday, 04.03.2014 / 2:23 AM

LOS ANGELES -- There was no third-period letdown for the Los Angeles Kings. Instead, they locked down their place in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a tremendous finish.

Jeff Carter and Anze Kopitar scored 40 seconds apart in the third period and the Kings clinched a playoff berth with a 4-0 win against the Phoenix Coyotes at Staples Center on Wednesday night.

It marks the fifth straight postseason appearance for Los Angeles, which last accomplished the feat from 1987-93. But there was no celebratory acknowledgement from the 2012 Cup champions.

"I think we've [added to] the evolution of this team," captain Dustin Brown said. "Maybe four or five years ago this was a big deal. Now, this is just part of the process.

"There's nothing to celebrate about making the playoffs. That's not a goal, it's an expectation."

The Kings were coming off a blown third-period lead Monday against the Minnesota Wild, the second time this season they had lost when leading after two periods. The other came March 17, when Phoenix rallied from a 2-1 deficit.

Leading 2-0 going into the third, Carter beat Coyotes goalie Thomas Greiss with a wicked wrist shot from the left side at 9:10 for his 27th goal. Kopitar got his 25th goal at 9:50 when he hammered home Marian Gaborik's pass on the power play. At the other end, the Kings allowed five shots in the third period en route to their 12th shutout of the season, a new franchise record.

"The last time we owed them one," defenseman Alec Martinez said. "That was the focus we took going into the third.

"I said it last game: We didn't play a full 60 minutes. I think we did that tonight. We were making plays. I think it's important in the third, especially with a lead … you've got to keep making plays and pushing the pace. You can't just sit on a lead anymore, especially in the West, and at this time of the year."

Phoenix was trying to jump over the Dallas Stars for the second wild-card spot, but again generated little offense in a desperation game. The Coyotes' 17 shots on goal were a season-low. Phoenix has scored two goals in its past three games.

"I thought they just played a better game tonight," Coyotes forward Martin Hanzal said. "They out-competed us, outhit us, outplay us today. It was simple as that.

"We have five games left. We are still not in the playoffs right now. We all know how important these points are. We have to make sure we win the rest and get in."

Defenseman Drew Doughty had one of his finer offensive games this season and goalie Jonathan Quick recorded a 17-save shutout for Los Angeles, which will play at the San Jose Sharks on Thursday in a likely preview of the Western Conference First Round series.

Doughty capped crisp passing and execution on the power play for a 2-0 lead. Doughty set up in the left circle for Martinez's pass, stopped the puck and wristed it in at 2:27 for his 10th goal and second in 19 games.

The Coyotes showed little fight through two periods and put nine shots on goal through 32 minutes. They would have trailed 3-0 going into the third period, but Greiss made a breakaway stop on Carter just before the buzzer.

Tanner Pearson gave the Kings a 1-0 lead 1:20 into the game. After he rushed back to get onside, Pearson drove the right wing and kneeled down to one time Carter's cross-ice pass. It was Pearson's third goal this season; two have come against Phoenix.

"We gave up a goal early, got chasing the game right from the beginning," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "That probably wasn't the ideal circumstances to put ourselves in."

The Kings came out solid defensively, clogged the shooting lanes and allowed five harmless shots by the Coyotes in the opening period.

"They did a good job of blocking us out and keeping us from getting in the zone," Phoenix defenseman Keith Yandle said. "On their penalty kill and our power play, we didn't do a good enough job to get pucks to the net."

Los Angeles is one win short of matching the team record of 46, set in 1990-91. It was the franchise's 1,500th regular-season win.

1st2nd3rdT
PHX
LAK
Scoring Summary
1st Period
01:20LAK Tanner Pearson (3) ASST: Jeff Carter (22) 1 - 0 LAK
2nd Period
02:27LAK PPG - Drew Doughty (10) ASST: Alec Martinez (9), Anze Kopitar (40) 2 - 0 LAK
3rd Period
09:10LAK Jeff Carter (27) ASST: Tanner Pearson (3) 3 - 0 LAK
09:50LAK PPG - Anze Kopitar (25) ASST: Marian Gaborik (15), Alec Martinez (10) 4 - 0 LAK
Three Stars of the Game
Jeff Carter
1st
G: 1Shots: 6
A: 1Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 16:55
Jonathan Quick
2nd
SA: 17TOI: 60:00
GA: 0EV: 15-15
PIM: 0PP: 1-1
SV%: 1.000SH: 1-1
Alec Martinez
3rd
G: 0Shots: 0
A: 2Hits: 5
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 19:35
Penalty Summary
1st Period
07:42LAK Jordan Nolan  Elbowing against  Martin Hanzal
15:21PHX Derek Morris  Delaying Game - Puck over glass
2nd Period
00:41PHX Antoine Vermette  Interference against  Justin Williams
08:10LAK Willie Mitchell  Hooking against  Martin Hanzal
16:46PHX Lauri Korpikoski  Hooking against  Tanner Pearson
3rd Period
09:42PHX Shane Doan  Tripping against  Drew Doughty
shots by period
PeriodPHXLAK
1st57
2nd715
3rd510
Total1732
Team Stats
CategoryPHXLAK
Power Plays0/22/4
Hits2740
Faceoff Wins2536
Giveaways912
Takeaways23
Blocked Shots1413
Penalty Minutes84
  • PHOENIX
  • LOS ANGELES
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
3K. YandleD0002022:01
4Z. MichalekD00-20019:33
10M. EratR0000014:20
11M. HanzalC00-13016:51
14J. HalpernC00-11011:55
17R. VrbataR00-10016:01
19S. DoanR0002218:43
20C. SummersD00-21018:00
23Ekman-LarssonD0002023:43
24K. ChipchuraC00-10010:22
26M. StoneD0000017:48
28L. KorpikoskiL0000212:47
36R. KlinkhammerC0000011:19
38B. McMillanC00-21012:56
50A. VermetteC0001218:04
53D. MorrisD0002219:14
63M. RibeiroC0001014:17
89M. BoedkerL0001016:12
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
1T. Greiss2832.87560:00
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
6J. MuzzinD0001020:33
8D. DoughtyD1003024:20
10M. RichardsC0001013:27
11A. KopitarC1103021:18
12M. GaborikR0102018:57
13K. CliffordL0000010:54
14J. WilliamsR0003016:13
22T. LewisC0000012:27
23D. BrownR0002014:42
26S. VoynovD0011021:37
27A. MartinezD0210019:35
28J. StollC0002014:44
33W. MitchellD0011216:09
44R. RegehrD0010017:50
70T. PearsonL1124011:03
71J. NolanC0001212:55
73T. ToffoliC0022012:21
77J. CarterC1126016:55
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
32J. Quick17171.00060:00