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Coyotes vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Conference Finals

Coyotes hope full roster can level the ice in Game 4

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Someone asked Adrian Aucoin after practice Friday if he represented "the calvary" for the Phoenix Coyotes

Adrian Aucoin
Defense - PHX
GOALS: 0 | ASST: 2 | PTS: 2
SOG: 9 | +/-: 4
Aucoin, who has missed the first three games of this Western Conference Finals series against the Los Angeles Kings because of an injury, could be back for Game 4 on Sunday to try and help his Coyotes avoid elimination.

"I hope so. I mean, obviously I'm hoping to play next game," Aucoin said. "It's been real frustrating watching. It's been frustrating on many levels. I think obviously in the first couple games, we didn't play close to where we wanted to. I thought we were better last game. The way the bounces have gone, the way other things we can't control have gone, has been pretty frustrating."

Roenick: Coyotes must stick with Game 3 plan

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

For the Phoenix Coyotes to avoid getting swept by the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday, NBC Sports analyst Jeremy Roenick said they have to find a way to take the positives out of yet another loss.

"I know this sounds terrible to say because they just lost 2-1 (in Game 3 Thursday), but that was one of the more positive things to happen to them in this series," Roenick told

The problem is the Kings have been so good that they have sapped the Coyotes of all the joy they experienced in getting to the Western Conference Finals. The Kings can close out their second straight sweep with a win in Game 4 Sunday at Staples Center (3 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS).

"I don't think this team is getting overconfident or cocky at all," Roenick said. "I just think this team is loving hockey and loving lacing up the skates right now."

For more on Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals, here is Roenick's complete breakdown.

King, Nolan have formed their own support group

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

Jordan Nolan
Center - LAK
GOALS: 1 | ASST: 0 | PTS: 1
SOG: 7 | +/-: 1
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dwight King and Jordan Nolan are two strapping 22-year-old professional athletes living in the shadows of Hollywood, a short drive from the beach, a freeway jaunt from the action. Talk about the dream, right?

Fun in the sun, parties, fine dining, celebrity lifestyle …

Uh, not so much.

"We don't do too much," Nolan told prior to Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals at Arena. "We're pretty easygoing guys, pretty simple people. We like to go to the beach, walk around. Our main thing is just finding a nice dinner at night or going to see a movie. Just grab a big bag of popcorn and hang out."

Kings' forecheck is grinding down opponents

Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor

Dwight King
Left Wing - LAK
GOALS: 5 | ASST: 0 | PTS: 5
SOG: 16 | +/-: 1
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Kings have won 11 of their 12 games in this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs. They're just one win away from their first trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 19 years after beating the Phoenix Coyotes 2-1 on Thursday night in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final.

So how has the No. 8 seed in the West put the Pacific Division-champion Coyotes on the ropes, preparing to deliver the same knockout punch that has already KO'd the Presidents' Trophy-winning Vancouver Canucks and the second-seeded St. Louis Blues?

Coyotes better in Game 3, but not good enough

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES -- The Phoenix Coyotes played much better in Game 3 than they did in Game 2 of this Western Conference Finals series. They've got two days to figure out a way to play even better in Game 4.

While the Coyotes were able to stay with the Los Angeles Kings in Game 3, they weren't able to beat them -- and they're in a 3-0 hole after the 2-1 loss at Staples Center.

"We're disappointed that we didn't get the results we want," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. "Certainly through the playoffs there's been some real positives to how we played. But this last series, we just haven't been able to get enough guys to the level that we need to get to. We talked about that after the first couple games. The level is being raised here. We just haven't been able to get to the next level."

Stoll finds his niche on Kings' dynamic third line

Curtis Zupke - Correspondent

Jarret Stoll
Center - LAK
GOALS: 2 | ASST: 2 | PTS: 4
SOG: 20 | +/-: 3
LOS ANGELES -- On opening night on a different continent, Jarret Stoll played on a line with Scott Parse and Trent Hunter -- two players who are either no longer in the organization or not active.

By December, in the waning days of the Terry Murray era, Stoll was among those Los Angeles Kings forwards accused of under-producing offensively -- and therefore, he was seen as a contributor to their lack of secondary scoring.

Those who predicted how the season would unfold for Stoll and the Kings should proceed to the nearest casino.

Milano takes over NHL's Twitter feed for Game 3

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES -- Alyssa Milano has more than 2 million followers on Twitter and is considered one of the most active celebrities on the social media network.

She's also a huge fan of the Los Angeles Kings and has had season tickets since Luc Robitaille's rookie season. With that in mind, she took control of the NHL's official Twitter feed Thursday during Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals.

"It is going well," Milano said while tweeting a picture of her and the Kings' mascot, Bailey. "It is an interesting exercise of trying to stay personal but not totally alienate the diehard hockey fans. I'm having fun."

Coyotes look for an offensive spark in Game 3

Jerry Brown - Correspondent

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Five goals in their last five games.

Even against two Vezina Trophy candidates and even for a team not known for being offensively explosive, the Phoenix Coyotes have picked a lousy time for a scoring funk.

After being shut out 4-0 by the Kings in Game 2 of the Western Conference final, the goal might be to make sure Kings goalie Jonathan Quick doesn't fall asleep when the series resumes Thursday in Los Angeles (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS). The Coyotes' scoring chances in this series have been few, far between -- and almost always the product of individual effort over possession through the neutral zone.

Coyotes forced to regroup after two home losses

Jerry Brown - Correspondent

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Frustration is usually a friend to the Phoenix Coyotes. They have won a division title and pushed all the way to the their first Western Conference final by twisting more skilled teams inside-out with a combination of work ethic and maddening consistency.

But in two lopsided losses on home ice to the NHL's current version of a runaway train – the Los Angeles Kings – frustration has changed jerseys and pulled up a spot on the Phoenix bench. The Coyotes have been learning about life when another team imposes its will and has all pistons firing.

After losing in decisive fashion, 4-0 to Kings in Game 2, the Coyotes were feeling themselves being dragged down the same fatal path that swallowed up Vancouver and St. Louis at the hands of the Kings before them. And the opportunistic team than confounded Chicago and Nashville in the first two rounds has seen its opportunities dry up and its momentum disappear.

Now, the Coyotes have lost back-to-back games for the first time in the postseason. They will be without center Martin Hanzal, who was suspended for one game for Tuesday's hit on Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown, the third Coyote suspended during this postseason.

Brown's toughness impresses his teammates

Curtis Zupke - Correspondent

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – One minute Dustin Brown was nearly bent over backward in pain. Later he was prone, face down on the ice after a taking a hit from behind.

Dustin Brown
Right Wing - LAK
GOALS: 7 | ASST: 7 | PTS: 14
SOG: 38 | +/-: 11
The Los Angeles Kings can’t help but shake their collective head at how their captain takes abuse and keeps on going.

“It’s almost comical to watch because you think he runs on batteries sometimes,” forward Dustin Penner said Wednesday. “He keeps on going. You can knock him down but you can’t keep him down. He takes a lot of punishment because he gives it out, and he’s been that type of leader all year -- not just the last game or the last series."

Brown was the recipient of a Ron Hextall-like slash from to the back of the legs by Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday night. In the third period, Brown was sent crashing into the end boards by Martin Hanzal, who was given a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct.

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