The Night that Was:
With their backs against the wall, the Phoenix Coyotes took to the ice against the Los Angeles Kings in the desert last night, hoping to see one more game. It was the Coyotes that gave their fans something to cheer about first, as Taylor Pyatt tipped home the opening goal 4:20 into the game on a power play for a 1-0 lead. Anze Kopitar however, made sure that lead was short-lived, as just under 8 minutes later he scored his sixth shorthanded to tie it up. In the second, Marc-Antoine Pouliot first career playoff goal restored Phoenix’s one-goal lead, but L.A. was quick to tie it again with Drew Doughty’s second five minutes later. Soon after that Mike Richards gave the Kings their first lead of the game, but that lasted for just three minutes before Phoenix knocked one in off of Keith Yandle’s shin pad. If you expected scoring in the third you’d be sadly disappointed, but despite two zeroes on the board the two sides combined for 29 shots (Phoenix: 16-13). Both teams would kill off minors in overtime (Phoenix started the extra-session on the PK while Doughty was called for interference halfway through the frame), but the hit that wasn’t penalized was the one that Phoenix was steaming over. Dustin Brown went knee-on-knee with Michal Rozsival but didn’t get called for it (Rozsival left and did not return), and eventually the Kings would end the Coyotes’ season, as Dustin Penner snapped home the game-winner and series clincher at 17:42. Mike Smith (throwing his stick in the direction of the official) and Shane Doan (irate over the missed call on the Brown hit) were both handed 10-minute misconducts at 17:42 as well. Pyatt finished with the Coyotes’ only multi-point game, while Doughty, Penner, and Jeff Carter (2 assists) all had two-point efforts for LA who have won 8-straight road playoff games.
What’s on Tonight?
What does the Devils/Rangers series have in store for us? Well, we’ll find out as New York hosts New Jersey tonight at MSG. Game time is 8pm Eastern.
-New Jersey saw Jacob Josefson return from injury for Game 4, and the New York Rangers could have reinforcements of their own for Game 5. Along with Brandon Prust eligible to return from his suspension, Brandon Dubinsky (foot injury) and Mats Zuccarello (wrist surgery) could be back as well.
News and Notes
-Word continues to circulate that Brent Sutter is the leading candidate for the Edmonton Oilers’ vacant Head Coaching position. Kevin Lowe stated however, that there were no talks between the two sides at the recent World Hockey Championship.
Playoff 3 Stars of the Night
1. Drew Doughty, D – LA: 1 G, 1 A, +1, 30:12 TOI
2. Dustin Penner, F – LA: 1 G, 1 A, GWG
3. Mike Smith, G – PHX, 47/51 svs