The Los Angeles Kings are headed to the Stanley Cup Finals. After winning Game 5, 4-3 in overtime, the Kings punched their ticket to the franchise’s second Finals visit. The road warrior Kings came through again; it was their tenth straight win on the road in the playoffs, a new NHL record, dating back to the series against the San Jose Sharks last year. The Kings are just the 7th team to get to the Stanley Cup Finals in 14 games, 12 wins and 2 losses. Dustin Penner scored what he said was “the biggest goal of my career” to vault the Kings to the Finals which will be played against either the New York Rangers or the New Jersey Devils.
In the first period, the Coyotes looked strong. Taylor Pyatt scored the opening goal of the game by tipping in a shot from Martin Hanzal on the powerplay. The Kings responded by scoring a shorthanded goal with a redirection of Drew Doughty’s shot from the point off a faceoff by Anze Kopitar. The second period started with Phoenix taking back over the lead when Slava Voynov, while trying to clear the puck out of the LA crease, accidentally shot it into his own net. The Kings came back with two straight goals, one by Drew Doughty and the other by Mike Richards. The Coyotes would respond in the closing minutes of the second, when they scored a goal off the knee of denfenseman Keith Yandle. After some chances for both teams in the third period, and an excellent display of defense and goaltending from both squads, the game headed to overtime. The Kings started the period with a powerplay, but per usual, failed to capitalize. At one point, late in the OT period, Mike Smith had hid glove knocked off of his hand, but play continued. The Kings would not capitalize on what was a very tedious situation. With just under five minutes to play in the overtime period, Dustin Brown had a tremendous hit on Michal Rozsival, that looked clean, but many Coyotes players and fans took exception to. On the ensuing faceoff, Mike Richards won the draw back to Slava Voynov who then skated the puck up the right wing boards in the neutral zone. As he was taken out of the play, Dustin Penner played the puck off the boards and into the Coyotes zone where Jeff Carter picked up the puck and shot it on net. Smith left a huge rebound in the high slot, where Penner was lurking. He waited for the puck to settle and then shot it up high and over the glove and into the net to win Game 5 for the Kings and send them to their first Finals appearance since 1993.
3 Stars of Game 5:
1. Dustin Penner(LA) 1 goal, 1 assist
2. Drew Doughty(LA) 1 goal, 1 assist
3. Taylor Pyatt(PHX) 1 goal, 1 assist