Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

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."

Kings 1 1 2 4
Coyotes 1 1 0 2

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.

Kings continue road dominance in opener 05/14/12 [Last modified: Monday, May 14, 2012 12:26am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Yellow cards stall Rowdies offense in tie with St. Louis


    ST. PETERSBURG — It's not the result they wanted, but it certainly could have been worse. Neill Collins' 87th-minute header off a corner kick was the reward the Rowdies settled for Saturday night during a 1-1 draw with St. Louis before an announced 6,068 at Al Lang Stadium.

  2. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title


    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.
  3. Numerous lapses add up to frustrating Rays loss to Twins

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — While the Rays made some good defensive plays, threw a couple of big pitches when they needed to and got a few, and just a few, key hits, there were some obvious things they did wrong that led to them losing Saturday's game to the Twins 5-3:

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter says the Twins’ tiebreaking homer came on a pitch that was “close to where I wanted it.”
  4. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. laughing right along after comical dive

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Souza being Souza.

    That seemed to be the best way to describe the entertaining — and comically bad — dive Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. attempted in Friday's game, and the good humor he showed in handling the fallout, including a standing ovation his next at-bat from the …

  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Twins game

    The Heater

    RHP Jake Odorizzi had to battle without his best stuff again, which is becoming a more common occurrence, leading to long at-bats — including 13 pitches to Kennys Vargas in the fifth — and running up his pitch count to 118 without finishing the sixth.