Thursday, April 26, 2018
Sports

Kings continue road dominance in opener

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The road has been the Kings' friend this playoff season.

Los Angeles opened the Western Conference final Sunday night by beating the Coyotes 4-2, their sixth straight victory away from Staples Center.

Anze Kopitar scored 4 minutes in, Dustin Brown had a goal and an assist, and Dwight King had his first career two-goal game for the Kings, who have won eight straight playoff games on the road dating to last season. The Devils were the last team to have a streak that high, from 1995-97. The league record is nine, set by the Islanders in 1982-83.

The record for consecutive road wins in one playoff year is seven, last done by the Blackhawks in 2010.

The Kings dominated early despite a week off after the end of their semifinal series with the Predators and outshot Phoenix 48-27.

"We got beat in every facet of the game," said Phoenix coach Dave Tippett, whose team trails in a series for the first time this year.

Game 1 was testy, with multiple scrums, hard hits and a roughing penalty on a goalie (the Coyotes' Mike Smith) in the first period.

The Kings had the game's first eight shots. Kopitar scooped up a loose puck in front of the net before flipping a backhander past Smith's glove side early in the first period. Kopitar has seven points his past four games.

With Los Angeles still in control — a 12-3 advantage in shots — Morris caught everyone offguard, particularly Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick, by ripping a slap shot from the red line past the Vezina Trophy finalist. That tied it at 1 and left Kings coach Darryl Sutter smirking in disbelief on the bench.

"It's a rare bad goal against," Sutter said.

After outshooting the Coyotes 17-4 in the first period, Los Angeles kept up the pressure in the second, setting up King's rebound goal on a 2-on-1 with Mike Richards midway through.

The Coyotes tied it again with just under 2 minutes left in the period. Boedker one-timed a pass from Shane Doan after Antoine Vermette won a battle behind the goal with Kings defenseman Drew Doughty.

Brown, who with the scored tied at 1 took an interference penalty with 19 seconds left in the first, put the Kings up 3-2 early in the third, beating Smith stick side on a mini breakaway for his seventh goal of the playoffs.

Brown also has six assists for 13 points, second in the playoffs. He also is a playoff-leading plus-11.

"He has become a playoff player," Sutter said. "He probably wanted that penalty back. … (He redeemed himself) by scoring the winning goal."

Kings1124
Coyotes1102

First Period1, Los Angeles, Kopitar 4 (Brown, Doughty), 3:53. 2, Phoenix, Morris 2 (Langkow), 13:26. PenaltiesSmith, Pho, served by Boedker (roughing), 4:17; Greene, LA (high-sticking), 9:56; Brown, LA (interference), 19:41.

Second Period3, Los Angeles, King 2 (Richards, Lewis), 8:02. 4, Phoenix, Boedker 4 (Doan, Morris), 18:05. PenaltiesMorris, Pho (hooking), 8:22; Kopitar, LA (goaltender interference), 9:50.

Third Period5, Los Angeles, Brown 7 (Voynov, Williams), 2:11. 6, Los Angeles, King 3 (Lewis, Stoll), 19:12 (en). PenaltiesMitchell, LA (interference), 4:40; Hanzal, Pho (slashing), 6:41; Williams, LA (hooking), 11:13; Ekman-Larsson, Pho (interference), 11:21. Shots on GoalLos Angeles 17-17-14—48. Phoenix 4-14-9—27. Power-play opportunitiesLos Angeles 0 of 4; Phoenix 0 of 5. GoaliesLos Angeles, Quick 9-1-0 (27 shots-25 saves). Phoenix, Smith 8-4-0 (47-44). A17,134 (17,135). T2:37. Referees—Kevin Pollock, Brad Watson. LinesmenShane Heyer, Jay Sharrers.

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