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Coyotes vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Conference Finals

Seven reasons for Kings' flawless road record

Wednesday, 05.16.2012 / 12:13 PM / Coyotes vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Conference Finals

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Two games into the Western Conference Finals, fans might need a reminder that the Los Angeles Kings, who lead the series 2-0, are the eighth seed.

The way the Kings have rampaged their way through the playoffs -- needing just nine games to knock out the West's top two teams and then winning the first two games against the third-seeded Phoenix Coyotes -- a reminder might be in order.

Making the Kings' run even more remarkable is their perfect playoff road record, which moved to 7-0 with their 4-0 win in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday. The win also extended their postseason road winning streak to nine straight games, dating to last season, which ties the 1982-83 New York Islanders for most in NHL history.

So how have the Kings done it this year? Well, here are seven reasons the Kings are 7-for-7 on the road in the postseason.

1. Fast starts

No matter the venue, crowds always are louder come playoff time. That volume can be an extra push for the home team. The Kings have been able to counter the home-fan advantage by scoring first four times in their seven road games, including three straight games. And they've either led or been tied after 20 minutes in all but one road game. The only time they trailed after one period was Game 5 of the first round against the Canucks.

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Disciplinary hearing today for Coyotes' Hanzal

Wednesday, 05.16.2012 / 10:09 AM / Coyotes vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Conference Finals

NHL.com

Phoenix Coyotes forward Martin Hanzal will have a disciplinary hearing Wednesday with the NHL Player Safety Department following a boarding incident in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday.

Hanzal was penalized when he pushed the Kings' Dustin Brown from behind into the boards at 11:01 of the third period. Hanzal was assessed a five-minute major for boarding and a game-misconduct.

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Kings combining size and skill to take West lead

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Anze Kopitar
Center - LAK
GOALS: 4 | ASST: 9 | PTS: 13
SOG: 37 | +/-: 10
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Kings captain Dustin Brown immediately thought of the 2007 Anaheim Ducks.

"They were gigantic," he said after L.A.'s 4-0 win Tuesday at Jobing.com Arena. "They were not only big, but they had the speed and the skill to go with it."

Kings forward Dustin Penner was among the giants on that Ducks team that won the Stanley Cup. He told NHL.com there is a comparison to be made between his old team and his new one, which now is two wins away from reaching the Stanley Cup Final heading into Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals on Thursday at Staples Center (9 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN).

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Smith expects more from teammates

Jerry Brown - NHL.com Correspondent

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Two games into the Western Conference Finals, the Phoenix Coyotes have yet to leave the starting blocks.

Mike Smith
Goalie - PHX
RECORD: 8-5-2
GAA: 2.02 | SVP: 0.943
After facing 87 shots in the first six periods, Coyotes goalie Mike Smith wondered aloud after a 4-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings in Game 2 just what his teammates are waiting for.

"We got outcompeted again ... out-battled," said Smith, who allowed the last two goals while the Kings commenced target practice during a 5-on-3 power plays set up by boarding majors to Shane Doan and Martin Hanzal. "In the first period, we played a little better and competed a little harder. But it's not enough. They're a good hockey club. [In] saying that, we haven't played near the way we are capable of playing."

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Kings' Carter breaks out with Game 2 hat trick

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Jeff Carter
Center - LAK
GOALS: 4 | ASST: 3 | PTS: 7
SOG: 30 | +/-: 3
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Jeff Carter carved his way into the same record book as Wayne Gretzky in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals.

Carter became the first Kings player since Gretzky in 1993 to record a hat trick in a playoff game. He increased his goal output in this postseason by 300 percent and helped lift Los Angeles to a 4-0 win against Phoenix and a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Game 3 is Thursday at Staples Center (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

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Coyotes lose their composure in 4-0 loss

Jerry Brown - NHL.com Correspondent

GLENDALE, Ariz. – In Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, the Phoenix Coyotes lost their home-ice advantage to the Los Angeles Kings. In Game 2, they lost their composure as well.

Before the 4-0 loss to the Kings at Jobing.com Arena was complete Tuesday night, captain Shane Doan and alternate captain Martin Hanzal were given game misconducts for major boarding penalties – Doan against Trevor Lewis in the Phoenix the second period and Hanzal on Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown in the third.

With the Coyotes -- already without suspended forward Raffi Torres -- down 2-0 in the second period and after a several good chances were denied by Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, Phoenix took four penalties in the final 5:03 of the period, starting when Keith Yandle was the only player sent to the box following a roughing match with Brad Richardson of the Kings.

Then while trying to kill the penalty – and with a another delayed call on Daymond Langkow already coming – Doan hit Lewis from behind while chasing a puck to the corner. Lewis' face hit the boards and Doan was called for the major.

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Hanzal tossed after hit on Brown

Jerry Brown - NHL.com Correspondent

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Phoenix center Martin Hanzal became the second Phoenix Coyote to earn a game misconduct in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals after he was called for boarding Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown at 11:01 of the third period at Jobing.com Arena.

Brown, who has drawn Phoenix's ire with his physical play in the first two games of the series, was initially shaken, but left the ice on his own.

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Doan ejected for boarding Lewis

Jerry Brown - NHL.com Correspondent

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- In Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, the Phoenix Coyotes lost their home-ice advantage to the Los Angeles Kings. In Game 2, they've lost their composure.

With his team already down 2-0 in the second period, Phoenix captain Shane Doan hit Los Angeles forward Trevor Lewis into the boards from behind, earning a five-minute major penalty -- one of four the Coyotes took in the final five minutes of the period -- and a game misconduct at the 16:29 mark.

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Coyotes confident they'll respond in Game 2

Jerry Brown - NHL.com Correspondent

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Struggling to find their stride in the opening game of a playoff series is nothing new for the Phoenix Coyotes.

Losing that game? That's new.

The Coyotes were outplayed early by Chicago in Game 1 in the first round and dominated late by Nashville in Game 1 of the second round, but used overtime goals by top-line forwards Martin Hanzal and Ray Whitney to win the game and enjoy the luxury of learning a lesson without losing. But the red-hot Los Angeles Kings made Phoenix pay for its skittish and sloppy effort with a 4-2 loss to open the Western Conference Final and the Coyotes are down in a series for the first time this postseason.

Goalie Mike Smith did his part with 44 saves, but it would be hard to find anyone else on the team that earned a passing grade on Sunday. For a team that needs everyone rowing in the same direction to get anywhere, the Coyotes were dead in the water in Game 1 as the Kings improved to 9-1 in the playoffs.

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Kings hope to keep PK streak going in Game 2

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Winning in the playoffs gets a heck of a lot easier when you can steal momentum while shorthanded. The Kings have been doing a masterful job of it since Game 5 against the Vancouver Canucks and their perfect penalty kill is a major reason why they are three wins shy of going to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1993.

The Kings have successfully killed 24 straight power plays dating back to the first round. They were 17-for-17 against the Blues and 5-for-5 in their 4-2 win Sunday in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.

They'll try to keep the run of perfection up in Game 2 Tuesday at Jobing.com Arena (9 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

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Quote of the Day

I'm just excited about the opportunity. I've been on the ice earlier than usual and in the weight room, pushing around a little more weights than usual. Every day I go into a workout with a smile on my face and ready to go. When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work.

— Brian Elliott to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch on being the Blues' No. 1 goalie