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Roenick: Coyotes must stick with Game 3 plan

by Dan Rosen

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:


Kings in command of Conference Finals

By Corey Masisak - Staff Writer
The Kings third line took starring roles as the Los Angeles defeated the Phoenix Coyotes 2-1 at Staples Center to earn their eighth straight victory and a 3-0 series lead. READ MORE ›

What do the Coyotes have to do to win Game 4?

"For them now, it's just let's hope we can get one, just one at a time. Obviously the odds are heavily, heavily, heavily against them. It's not just because of how well the Kings are playing; it's history. But the Coyotes played a smart Game 3 and gave themselves a chance to win. Whatever they used, whatever their mentality was, their game plan -- it worked. Now they have to find a way to beat Jonathan Quick."

How do they go about accomplishing it?

"Quick remains the story of the playoffs. If the Coyotes can't get into his crease, get into his kitchen and rile him up a little bit, they are in trouble. They led for only about two minutes in this series, and that's because of Quick. They need something positive to happen. If you look at it, even though they lost 4-2 in Game 1, they really got blitzed. If it wasn't for Mike Smith, it would have been 8-2. In Game 2 they did get blitzed, 4-0. It wasn't even a game. But in Game 3 they had a chance, and that is the one positive thing they can take out of this now. It's, 'Hey, we were right there.' That's about all you can do or think against the Kings right now."

What kind of pressure will it put on the Kings if they are successful at it?

"It doesn't put much pressure at all on the Kings because they're still 7-0 on the road. They have that going for them and still have two games to play in their own building. I hate to say the series is done, but it would be an insane comeback to come back against one of the hottest teams in the National Hockey League, one of the hottest teams we've seen in a long time."

What do the Kings have to do to win Game 4?

"There are only two words: Nothing different."

How do they go about accomplishing it?

"I just think their preparation has been fantastic. I know Darryl Sutter, and I know he's making sure they're all staying humble. He's keeping them all with that one-game-at-a-time attitude, the pedal down. I don't think this team is cocky whatsoever. I think they are really enjoying playing with each other and for each other. And I think they're looking forward to every game. I don't think they're going in worrying about any game or feeling pressure by any game. I think they're excited about lacing up the skates, and when you are excited about getting out there, that is when you fly. That is when you make great decisions, you're on the ball, your mind is in the right place and you sacrifice. They are excited to play every game. You can tell by just watching them. You can see it on the bench. You can see it when they score goals."

What kind of pressure will it put on the Coyotes if they are successful at it?

"Right now the Kings have a very good situation. They have a chance to sweep Phoenix and get a nice week to week-and-a-half layoff to rest their bodies and their minds to get healthy again. Dustin Brown needs this time because he's been pulverized and is pulverizing people in this series. While the Rangers futz around with the Devils or the Devils futz around with the Rangers, a series that will probably go six or seven, the L.A. Kings will be able to come into the Stanley Cup Final really feeling fresh and champing at the bit."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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