The Los Angeles Kings put up another great performance in front of the hometown crowd with a hard fought, close and ultimately winning, effort. The Phoenix Coyotes came out strong in the first period, but the Kings were able to hold their ground to come from behind and win for the fourth time this playoff season. The Kings also extended their win streak to 8 games.
In the first period, the game had a much different feel than any other game in this series. After Shane Doan took a bad penalty by backhanding Jarret Stoll, the Coyotes killed the penalty and used that for momentum. No goals were scored in the first period, but both teams had their chances. In the second period, utilizing a stretch pass, Daymond Langkow caught the Kings defense napping and broke in on Jonathan Quick with a partial breakaway. Langkow scored on a low shot that squeaked through Quick’s pads. The Kings then answered back just two minutes and seven seconds later, using a stretch pass of their own, by Dustin Brown to Anze Kopitar, who went five hole on Phoenix goalie Mike Smith. It was another beautiful bunch of stick handling by Kopitar who faked going to the backhand and then slipped it through Smith’s pads. Phoenix’s Antoine Vermette then took a boarding penalty on Trevor Lewis and during the delayed penalty, as the Kings still had possession of the puck, Dwight King took the puck out of the corner, circled toward the net, and sniped a shot past Mike Smith short side and up high. It was King’s fifth goal of the playoffs and fourth in the three games of the Western Conference Final. The Kings then held on to the lead and preserved their eighth straight win and third straight 3-0 series lead. The Kings and Coyotes will be back at it again for Game 4 on Sunday at noon pacific time.
3 Stars of Game 3:
1. Dwight King 1 goal, 1 point, 1 SOG, +1, 14:27 TOI
2. Anze Kopitar 1 goal, 1 point, 4 SOG, +2, 22:59 TOI
3. Jonathan Quick 18 saves on 19 shots, .947 save %
*Note*: Colin Fraser did not play for the Kings again in Game 3, though he has returned to Los Angeles and will be available for Game 4 after traveling up to Alberta to deal with a family issue.