With Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals complete, The Kings have the early lead with the first win of 4-2. Like the previous two series they have played, the Kings are poised to win with early goals scored and their quick goalie Jonathan Quick. (Notice the pun.)
However, this is only game 1, and Phoenix was playing equally as well offensively last night. Although having the home team playoff shirts be white, made it look like they’re fans were rooting for the Kings, who sported their white away game jerseys.
While Anze Kopitar got it going for the Kings with a backhand goal assisted by Brown and Doughty, the Coyotes were able to tie it up later in the first period with a slapshot goal by Derek Morris, who was assisted by teammate Langkow.
The Coyotes goalie Smith was on par with Quick as he only allowed 1 goal out of the 17 total shots in the period, Whereas Quick let in 1 out of 4 in the first period. The Coyotes also received two powerplay opportunities in the first period, but could not score due to the Kings’s solid defense. With only one Coyotes penalty in the first, the Kings were only allowed one of these opportunities, but they also could not get a PPG on Smith.
In the second period, play seemed to even out with more equal shots on goal, but the Kings were outshooting the Coyotes again by 17-14. Like the first period, the Kings got the first goal, another backhand by Dwight King assisted by Richards and Lewis. Similar to the first period, again the Coyotes managed to tie the game up with a wrist shot by Mikkel Boedker who was assisted by Doan and Morris.
The final period was a showdown, as the two teams went into it tied 2-2, and again the Kings lead in shots 14-9 as they fought harder to score. Their determination shone through early in the period when team captain Dustin Brown wristed a third goal behind Smith assisted by Voynov and Williams.
The Coyotes had some opportunities to score to tie the game, especially two power play opportunities, but they could not succeed in getting a puck behind Quick. Once Smith was sent to the bench for the extra attacker, the Kings skaters took advance of the empty net and sealed their victory with an empty netter by King assisted by Stoll and Lewis.
Even though the Kings outshot the Coyotes in the game, 48-27, the Coyotes were able to come back and tied the game up in the first and second periods consecutively. Since this is game one, we can expect that the Coyotes will be on the attack tomorrow night for game two. Since both teams have gotten this far already, neither will be going down with a fight, but we have to wait to determine how this series will unfold.