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Kings aim to remain undefeated on road

by Dan Rosen

(Kings lead the best-of-seven series, 1-0)


Big Story: The Kings are looking seventh straight road win in the playoffs and seventh straight win overall. If they win Game 2, they will tie the 2010 Chicago Blackhawks for the NHL record for consecutive road wins in a postseason. Los Angeles won Game 1 Sunday, 4-2, thanks to two goals by Dwight King, the winning goal by captain Dustin Brown, and a goal from Anze Kopitar. They had 48 shots on goal and 90 attempts at the net. They also won 40 of 70 faceoffs (57 percent). Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said everybody on his team has to raise their level of execution and will if they are going to have a shot in the series.

Team Scope:

Kings: Dustin Brown continues to sizzle. He had a goal and an assist on Kopitar's goal in Game 1 to give him 13 points in 10 games this postseason. Brown had seven points in 12 playoff games over the previous two years.

Beyond Brown, the Coyotes had no answer for his line as a whole. Brown along with Kopitar and Justin Williams not only dominated offensively, but by doing so they forced the Coyotes top line of Ray Whitney, Martin Hanzal and Radim Vrbata to defend for most of their shifts. It'll be interesting to see if Tippett tries to get away from that match up with the benefit of last change again in Game 2.

"We're the visiting team. They get the matchups they want," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. "When you're not a home team, you don't always get the matchups you want. That's why you need balance on your team."

The Kings have plenty of that. It's been on display all postseason, and especially in Game 1.

Coyotes: They were outshot 17-4 in the first period and were down 34-18 in shots after two periods, but Game 1 was still tied at 2-2. The Coyotes have made a habit in this postseason of getting outshot badly in games but still finding a way to overcome. That didn't happen in Game 1 Sunday.

Brown scored 2:11 into the third period and Jonathan Quick shut the door the rest of the way. Tippett was particularly displeased in the effort and execution in the immediate aftermath of Game 1, and he didn't change his tune at all Monday when addressing the media.

"You can work hard to get to a place. It's what you do after you get there that matters," Tippett said. "We were around some battles, but once you get yourself into the battle, it's the next step, how are you going to win that battle. For me sometimes it's about will, sometimes about skill also, having the ability to make something positive happen. We just didn't have enough."

The Coyotes could have a roster change if defenseman Adrian Aucoin is ready to play. He missed Game 1 due to an injury, but skated in the full practice Monday. Tippett said they won't know Aucoin's availability for Game 2 until Tuesday.

Who's Hot: The Kings have a couple of players that are hot: Brown has eight points in the last five games; Mike Richards has six points in the last five games; Dwight King has three goals in the last three games; Anze Kopitar has points in four straight games; Drew Doughty has points in three straight games. For the Coyotes, Derek Morris had a goal and an assist in Game 1.

Injury Report: Kings forward Simon Gagne (concussion) was cleared for contact, but the team does not think he will be available until next season. Aucoin is the only injured Coyotes player, but he could be back for Game 2. He hasn't played since leaving Game 5 against Nashville early on.

Stat Pack: The Kings have won eight straight road playoff games dating back to last season. They've won a club-record six straight games in this postseason. They have also killed off 24 straight power plays. The Coyotes, meanwhile, have not scored a power-play goal since Game 1 against Nashville (0-for-14 in the last five games). Phoenix is 7-3 in the postseason when it gets outshot.

Puck Drop: "It's simple. We got outcompeted (in Game 1)," Coyotes center Martin Hanzal said. "We've got to raise our level and we'll be fine. It's frustrating because you get the home advantage and we lost Game 1. Maybe it was a little nervous, I'm not sure, but this is a time if you're not going to raise your level you're going to go home. We've got to make sure everybody is on the same page and we raise our level."

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