COYOTES at KINGS
(Los Angeles leads best-of-seven series, 2-0)
TV: NBCSN, TSN, RDS
Big Story: The Kings return home after dominating Games 1 and 2 in Glendale, Ariz. They won 4-2 in Game 1 and 4-0 in Game 2 with Jeff Carter recording the club's first playoff hat trick since Wayne Gretzky did it against Toronto in 1993. The Kings are two wins away from reaching the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1993. They are 10-1 in the playoffs and have won seven straight games dating back to Game 5 against Vancouver in the conference quarterfinals.
Coyotes: They lost their cool in Game 2 and it cost them, as Carter scored a pair of 5-on-3 goals to take complete control in the series.
The Kings have already exerted their size to make the Coyotes look small in the series, and now Phoenix might have to play without 6-foot-6 center Martin Hanzal. He will have a disciplinary hearing with the NHL's Department of Player Safety on Wednesday for his boarding major on Dustin Brown in the third period of Game 2.
Hanzal received a game misconduct in addition to the major. Shane Doan was also tossed from Game 2 with 3:31 left in the second period when he was called for a boarding major against Trevor Lewis that was accompanied by a game misconduct.
The Coyotes committed 13 penalties totaling 56 minutes in Game 2. They've been outshot 98-51 through two games.
"Well, it's frustrating not winning, not being able to do the things you want to do," coach Dave Tippett said. "That's for sure."
Kings: They are looking like a team on a mission, determined to complete the trifecta of eliminating the top three seeds in the Western Conference in just 13 games. The Kings beat the Canucks in five, the Blues in four, and they have an opportunity on their home ice to sweep the Coyotes as well.
In Game 1 it was the line of Justin Williams, Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown that dominated. In Game 2, it was the trio of Carter, Dustin Penner and Mike Richards. Carter had a hat trick and Penner and Richards each had an assist. They also combined for 12 shots on goal.
Jonathan Quick hasn't had to be great, but early in the second period of Game 2, when the Coyotes were buzzing for a tying goal, he came up with seven critical saves to preserve a 1-0 lead that the Kings eventually extended to 2-0. Quick has stopped 49 of 51 shots. His shutout in Game 2 was the second of the playoffs.
"For the most part we did a great job of keeping a lot of the chances to the outside, clearing out rebounds and stuff like that," Quick said after Game 2. "When they needed me, I was able to make the save."
Who's Hot: Carter had the hat trick in Game 2, but Kings rookie forward Dwight King has the same amount of goals in the series. King scored twice in Game 1 and gave his team the 1-0 lead in the first period of Game 2. He has four goals in 11 playoff games. Kopitar and Brown each have a goal and two assists in the series.
Injury Report: Coyotes defenseman Adrian Aucoin has missed the last two games with a lower-body injury. … Kings forward Simon Gagne (concussion) was cleared for contact, but the team does not think he will be available until next season.
Stat Pack: The Kings' shorthanded units have killed off 28 straight power plays dating back to Game 5 against Vancouver. … L.A. is 3-1 at Staples Center this postseason. … The Coyotes have now been outshot in 11 of their 13 playoff games. They are 7-4 in those games, but 0-2 in this series. … Phoenix is 4-1 on the road this postseason.
Puck Drop: "I don't think we got under their skin or anything like that," Quick said. "These guys (the Coyotes) won two rounds. You don't win two rounds this time of year being able to get rattled easily. We know what to expect here coming into Game 3. We know they're going to bring their best. That's all we're looking at right now."