King leads Kings to super-meta Game 3 victory over the Coyotes
Make it eight.
No, not Canadian teams -- consecutive wins for the Los Angeles Kings, who took a 3-0 series lead over the Phoenix Coyotes in the Western Conference Finals with a 2-1 Game 3 victory.
While the result was the same, Thursday night's script was slightly different, at least for the first 21 minutes. The Coyotes came out stronger in Los Angeles, outshooting the Kings 11-8 in the first period and showing that they wouldn't go easily.
A minute into the second period, they finally beat Jonathan Quick, as Daymond Langkow slipped a shot through the LA netminder's pads on a partial breakaway to give the Coyotes their first lead of the series.
But only 127 seconds later, the Kings answered. Dustin Brown found Anze Kopitar streaking in behind the Phoenix defence, and Kopitar made two elite plays to tie the score: first, he deftly accepted the pass by kicking it from his skate to his stick, and second, he opened up Mike Smith up with a first-class deke, slipping the puck through the five-hole.
And then the Kings kept answering.
The rest of Game 3 looked mighty familiar to anybody that had watched the two games prior, as the Kings outshot the Coyotes by a 2-1 margin over the final 40 minutes (20-8), swarming and overmatching Phoenix at every turn.
Eventually, inevitably, Game 3 took on the look Game 2, with the Coyotes looking undisciplined, taking four minor penalties in the final frame, and disorganized, giving Dwight King untold space in the slot, a no-no under Dave Tippett. King buried them, taking the puck off the wall during a delayed penalty, finding a wide open patch of ice inside the circle, and burying the shot.
The penalties stalled any hopes the Coyotes had of gaining momentum and tying the game, as they put just four shots on Jonathan Quick in the 3rd period.
Now, the Coyotes find themselves on the brink of elimination, and the Kings find themselves just one game from the Stanley Cup Final, with history on their side. Only three teams have ever come back from down three games: the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, the 1975 New York Islanders, and the 2010 Philadelphia Flyers.
But you probably remember this information from when it was trotted out during the Kings' 3-0 leads in rounds 1 and 2, and if those series were any indication, this one will be over soon.