The Key Three: May 22
Three key aspects of the Kings' 4-3 overtime victory over the Phoenix Coyotes
Three key aspects of the Kings’ 4-3 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes...
1. POISE -- 37-PLUS MINUTES WORTH
Through two periods, the Kings and Coyotes had put on an entertaining, unpredictable show. It seemed ridiculous to even offer a prediction as to what might happen. Both teams were working hard and both teams had received some breaks. There were plenty of times, in the third period and 17-plus minutes of overtime, when the Kings -- particularly the younger, less-tested players -- might have cracked under the pressure, but they didn’t. The Kings were solid in the third period and were clearly the better team in overtime, and Jonathan Quick was phenomenal late in the game. Dustin Penner’s overtime goal was a great play, and a reward for the Kings in general.
2. MORE SHORTHANDED SUCCESS
For the first 10-plus minutes of the first period, the Coyotes dominated. They scored an early power-play goal and their had their collective foot on the Kings’ throat. A second goal seemed imminent, a goal that would have put the Kings in an enormous hole. Instead, the Kings scored a goal. It was a big of magic, like walking through a car was without getting wet. While on the power play, the Coyotes iced the puck. The Kings won the ensuing faceoff and it was shot, tip, goal. Just like that, the crowd fell silent and the Kings had life. The Coyotes continued to get the better of the play for the rest of the period, but the Kings got a huge mental boost with a 1-1 tie after one period.
3. DOUGHTY EMOTIONAL, SUCCESSFUL
Drew Doughty got carried away with himself while protesting a couple calls late in the game. Even if he happens to be correct, Doughty has to do a better job of controlling his emotions and not making a scene on the ice. That said, Doughty more than redeemed himself with his play. Doughty’s shot led to Anze Kopitar’s shorthanded goal, and Doughty scored the Kings’ second goal by threading a sharp shot past Mike Smith from the blue line. Most impressive, though, was the overtime play in which Doughty perfectly broke up a Phoenix 2-on-1 chance with some great stickwork. It hasn’t been the smoothest of sailing for Doughty this season, but he came up big.