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Smith, Coyotes shut out Kings to stay alive
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - The Phoenix Coyotes still have a pulse.
Shane Doan scored two goals, Mike Smith recorded his third career postseason shutout with a virtuoso 36-save performance and the Phoenix Coyotes staved off elimination by blanking the Los Angeles Kings, 2-0, in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals at Staples Center.
"I thought we competed a lot harder and won a lot more battles," said Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett. "When you do those things, you give yourself a better chance to win."
Jonathan Quick stopped 19 shots for the eighth-seeded Kings, who lost for only the second time in 13 playoff games. Los Angeles suffered its first loss since April 18th against the visiting Vancouver Canucks, snapping a franchise-record eight-game playoff winning streak.
The Kings failed in their first attempt to clinch just their second trip to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Now, they head back to Glendale for Game 5 on Tuesday. But the Kings have been road warriors in these playoffs, tying an NHL record with seven consecutive wins away from LA. Their 7-0 road record to start the playoffs ties another NHL record set by the 1999 Colorado Avalanche. Additionally, they've won nine straight on the road dating back to last spring and that matches a league mark for the most road wins spanning consecutive postseasons held by the New York Islanders (1982-83).
"We are still in a good position; that's why we have to hit the reset button, refocus, and make sure we have a lot of energy for Tuesday," said Kings forward Anze Kopitar.
On Sunday, Los Angeles had an early power play opportunity when Ray Whitney committed a roughing penalty in the offensive zone 75 seconds after the game's opening faceoff.
The third-seeded Coyotes negated the man-advantage and went up a man when Jarret Stoll cross-checked Phoenix forward Mikkel Boedker. But the best chance on the ensuing power play belonged to Trevor Lewis, who was denied by Smith on a partial breakaway.
Phoenix was able to cash in on its second power play. Doan came out from behind the end line and threw a backhander that sailed underneath Quick's right arm at the 14:19 mark of the first period.
The Kings had killed 30 straight penalties before the Phoenix captain lit the lamp.
Doan struck again with 8:50 remaining in the second period, beating Quick off a clean faceoff win by Antoine Vermette.
Los Angeles came out strong in the third period, outshooting the Coyotes, 13-7, over the final 20 minutes. But Smith was up to the task, keeping his team alive for at least one more game.
The Kings registered only six shots while going 0-for-6 on the power play...Phoenix has yet to allow a power-play goal on the road this postseason (27-for-27 killing penalties)...Kopitar had his point streak snapped at six games...The Kings are now 10-8 all-time with the chance to clinch a series...Phoenix forward Martin Hanzal returned to the lineup after serving a one-game suspension for boarding Dustin Brown in Game 2...Coyotes defenseman Adrian Aucoin was back after missing the first three games of this series with an undisclosed injury.
05/20 19:11:30 ET