Tag Archives: Mike Smith

The champagne and confetti were shelved at the Staples Center on Sunday

The champagne and confetti were shelved at the Staples Center on Sunday when the LA Kings had their long awaited trip to the Stanley Cup Finals stalled after a 2-0 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes.

The Kings have so far made only one appearance in the Stanley Cup Championship Series since their debut in 1967. In 1993, Los Angeles, coached by Barry Melrose and led by legendary player Wayne Gretzky, entered the final quest for the Cup against the Montreal Canadiens. The Kings won the first of five games but went on to lose the next four, conceding the Cup to Montreal. They have never won a Stanley Cup in their 41 year history.

Doan had two goals, Mike Smith made 36 saves in his third playoff shutout, and the Coyotes emphatically avoided playoff elimination with a 2-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals on Sunday.

Ray Whitney and Antoine Vermette had assists for the Coyotes, who escaped a series sweep by snapping the eighth-seeded Kings’ eight-game winning streak in front of long-suffering fans denied the chance to celebrate Los Angeles’ first berth in the Stanley Cup finals since 1993.

Phoenix was better from the opening faceoff, dominating an opponent that had been on an 11-1 run through the postseason. Doan scored on a power play in the first period and on a deflected shot in the second, silencing the crowd at the Kings’ first loss since April 18.

Los Angeles, which had a 10-5 advantage in shots on goal in the first period, began the second period undaunted by its one-goal deficit. Lewis had the first big chance, skating to the front of the net, where his backhand beat Smith but went off the post. Shortly thereafter, Drew Doughty ripped a shot from the point that Smith saved, and then barely got his glove to the rebound before Anze Kopitar could punch in an equalizer.

The third period was more of the same for the Kings, who pulled goaltender Jonathan Quick for an extra attacker in the final minutes but could produce no magic. Quick finished with 19 saves.
Entering the post-season as an eighth seed, the Kings beat the top seeded Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the playoffs then the second seeded St Louis Blues in the second then won the first three against the Coyotes. The Kings are 2-for-23 on the power play in the series after Sunday’s 0-for-6 performance.

The Kings are surely the class of the West and the biggest surprise of the playoffs. But let’s not crown them just yet. Assuming they get past Phoenix, they still have to face either New York Rangers or the New Jersey Devils – both tough, disciplined and well-coached squads with outstanding goaltending. The over-achieving Kings will meet their match.

Game 5 is is on right now in Phoenix. Los Angeles is 7-0 on the road in the playoffs.

Kings take commanding 3-0 lead in the Western Conference finals

Los Angeles Vs Phoenix game 3

Los Angeles Vs Phoenix game 3

KINGS 2, COYOTES 1: Dwight King continued his magical postseason run, scoring the game winner early in the third period as host Los Angeles took a commanding 3-0 lead in the Western Conference finals.

King played the hero just 1:47 into the frame, skating out from the corner boards on a delayed Phoenix penalty and firing a high shot past netminder Mike Smith’s glove for his fifth goal in five games. The rookie forward scored just five times in 27 regular-season contests.

Penalties hurt Phoenix’s chances at a comeback, with Michal Roszival taking a high-sticking minor just before the five-minute mark and Oliver Ekman-Larsson getting called for cross-checking at 13:22. The Coyotes pulled Smith for an extra attacker with just over a minute remaining, but their final chance to net the equalizer was snuffed out after Radim Vrbata was whistled for slashing the Kings’ Anze Kopitar with 41 seconds left.

Los Angeles held on from there to extend its playoff winning streak to eight games and move within a victory of returning to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since 1993. Game 4 is set for Sunday afternoon at the Staples Center.

Jonathan Quick stopped 18 shots to preserve the victory.

The teams played a tight-checking first period that saw zero goals and few scoring chances. The Kings had the best opportunity in the opening frame, but Smith made a good save on a Jarrett Stoll chance from in close following a setup by King.

The teams shook off the shackles to open the second period. Phoenix struck first at 1:03, with Daymond Langkow escaping on a partial breakaway and firing a shot that trickled between Quick’s pads.

Kopitar answered just over two minutes later with one of the nicest goals of the series. The star forward broke in alone and deked out Smith before beating him between the pads with a backhand shot for his 10th point in the last six games.

Tickets for the Kings Vs Coyotes at the Staples Center Sunday at 12:00pm are still available.

Western Conference Kings and Coyotes Square off

Kings Vs Coyotes

Kings Vs Coyotes

The NHL has quite a surprise on their hands with the Western Conference Finals as it features 2 teams nobody really expected to be here several months ago. Your two teams are the 8th seeded Los Angeles Kings and the 3 seeded Phoenix Coyotes.

Entering the post season the Kings finished only 2 points behind the Coyotes but thanks to league rules that state a division winner gets a top 3 seed, the Coyotes leapfrogged over several teams with more total points and were able to earn home ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs.

The Kings lost their final 2 games of the regular season to the San Jose Sharks knocking them down into the 8th seed and giving them the task of having to knock off the top seeded Vancouver Canucks to advance to the second round.

The Kings started the playoffs red hot as they took the first 3 games of the series from the Canucks to take a 3-0 series lead. In game 4 however, the Kings stumbled as they lost to the Canucks to make the series 3-1. In game 4 the Kings were able to rebound thanks to a Jarret Stoll overtime goal which gave the Kings the series victory over the Canucks and propelled them to the second round to take on the second seeded St. Louis Blues.

Just like in the first round, the Kings had to open the series on the road and once again won both games on the opponents ice sending them back to L.A. with a 2 games to none lead. In game 3 the Kings were able to excite the home crowd as they won again, this time by a score of 4-2 to take a 3-0 series lead for the second straight round. Unlike in round 1 where the Kings were unable to close out the series on home ice, the Kings were able to defeat the Blues 2-1 in game 4 to send the Staples Center crowd into euphoria and advancing the Kings into the third round of the playoffs and a date with the Phoenix Coyotes.

During the regular season these 2 teams split the series at 3 games a-piece with the most recent game being a 5-4 shootout victory for the Coyotes back on February 21st.

Both of the goaltenders in this upcoming series have been red hot during the postseason as Jonathan Quick leads all active goalies in playoff GAA right now with a 1.55 GAA and .949 save percentage while Mike Smith has been almost as good sporting a 1.85 GAA with a save percentage of .946.

While it is expected that this series will be low scoring, it needs to be pointed out that the Kings are averaging 3 goals per game in the playoffs while the Coyotes are averaging 2.64 goals per game, so a high scoring game is not entirely out of the question. With the stellar goaltending however it would not be surprising at all to see one game end 1-0 and the following game be a 5-4 finale.

As of now it is unknown when the series will start, but you can bet that it will be an exciting matchup and ultimately will send a team from the Pacific Division to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 2007 when the Anaheim Ducks represented the Pacific Division en route to their Stanley Cup victory

Preview: Kings at Coyotes

Preview: Los Angeles at Phoenix
When: 9:00 PM       ET, Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Where: Jobing.com Arena, Glendale, Arizona
Tickets: You can still puchase Coyotes Vs Kings Tickets for this game.

THE STORY: Failing to score has been a reoccurring issue this season for the Los  Angeles Kings. Their recent rut has dropped them out the top eight spots in the Western Conference. The Kings get an opportunity to make up some ground on one of the teams they’re chasing when they travel to face the streaking Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday. Los Angeles is 3-1-1 in five  meetings this season, but Phoenix is unbeaten in five straight at home.

TV: 9 p.m. ET, FS West (Kings), FS Arizona Plus (Coyotes)

ABOUT THE KINGS (27-21-11):
It’s easy to see why the Kings have only two wins in their past eight games. They have managed three goals in  the six losses, including shutouts their two previous games. “The last  couple years, we’ve been battling for a playoff spot,” captain Dustin  Brown said. “As frustrating as these last two games have been,  offensively, we’ve got to refocus.” Goaltender Jonathan Quick has done  his part against the Coyotes, stopping 42 of 43 shots in the last two  meetings.

ABOUT THE COYOTES (29-21-9): While the Kings are headed in the wrong direction, the Coyotes are on an uptick, going  7-0-1 in February. Phoenix has grabbed 17 of a possible 20 points coming in, the main reason the club has jumped to seventh in the West – two  points in front of Calgary and Los Angeles. Forward Radim Vrbata has  been red-hot. He has five goals and four assists the past eight games,  including four game-winners, en route to a career-best 28 tallies.

OVERTIME:

1. Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith is unbeaten in his last seven starts while posting a minuscule 0.99 goals against average.

2. The Kings average 2.03 goals, last in the NHL.

PREDICTION: Coyotes 3, Kings 2 (OT)

Next up for the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center is the Chicago Blackhawks this Saturday night February 25th at the Staples Center. We have great Kings Vs Blackhawks tickets still in stock. Just look for the BV green button for the best savings on this game.

Phoenix 1 Coyotes – Los Angeles Kings 0 Staples Center

COYOTES 1, KINGS 0:
Thursday, February 16, 2012 7:30 PM

Mike Smith recorded his second straight shutout by turning aside all 28 shots he faced and Radim Vrbata matched a career high with his 27th goal of the season as the Phoenix Coyotes  edged the Los Angeles Kings in a physical battle at the Staples Center.

With the victory, the Coyotes improved to 7-1-1 in their last nine games and pulled even with the Kings for seventh place in the Western Conference. The pair is just four points behind the Pacific Division-leading San Jose Sharks.

The NHL’s First Star of the Week, Smith responded from his 38-save effort in a shutout of the Chicago Blackhawks by handcuffing the Kings.

Smith secured his fourth blanking of the season and 15th career by stopping 11 shots in the first period, eight in the second and nine in the third. Smith also improved to 7-2-1 in his career versus Los Angeles.

Vrbata finally broke through after Kings defenseman Jack Johnson was serving a delay of game penalty.

With 4:01 left in the second period, Vrbata accepted a cross-ice feed from Ray Whitney and wired a shot from the right faceoff circle past All-Star Jonathan Quick. The tally was Vrbata’s fifth in nine contests.

Quick finished with 20 saves for the Kings, who fell to 2-4-1 in their last seven games.

GAME NOTEBOOK: The teams waged a physical battle in the first period, with three fights and two roughing penalties to highlight a scoreless session. … Whitney, who saw his eight-game point streak come to an end in the team’s last contest, had an assist on Vrbata’s goal.

Looking for Kings Tickets? We have tickets for the LA Kings entire season at home at the Staples Center or on the road. You can purchase Flames Vs Kings Tickets now for their February 18th showdown at the Staples Center.

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