The Kings made the Coyotes go places and do things they didn’t want to do in Game 2 on Tuesday night, and it cost them dearly.
Center Jeff Carter had the first playoff hat trick for the Kings since Wayne Gretzky did it back in 1993, to lead Los Angeles to a 4-0 win over Phoenix, and a commanding 2-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals.
The Coyotes committed 13 penalties in the game, and came completely unraveled in the second period, committing four penalties in the last five minutes.
The Coyotes had three players who were ejected for various misconduct penalties: Shane Doan, Martin Hanzal and Antoine Vermette.
Doan crushed Kings forward Trevor Lewis into the boards with 3:31 left in the second, and received a five minute major and the misconduct, which ended his night early.
Hanzal’s night also got cut short after he rode Kings captain Dustin Brown into the boards about midway through the third period.
Not too long after Hanzal’s exit, Vermette joined him, getting a 10-minute misconduct at 13:18 of the third.
Head coach Dave Tippett talked about whether or not the team lost its cool as the game progressed.
“Losing our cool over there? The Doan penalty was a little frustrating because that’s one, you know, it’s a slash, these sticks break like they do.” Tippett said. “The Yandle penalty, I don’t know why only one guy was taken there. I still felt like we were around a little bit.”
“I don’t want to comment too much on it,” Tippett said. “Obviously that was a big factor, spending that much time down five-on-three.”
Kings goalie Jonathan Quick was phenomenal again for Los Angeles, turning back 24 shots for the shutout.
“Obviously I wanted to get off to a better start than I did last game there,” Quick said. “You know, in order to win on the road, you need your goalie to make a few saves.”
His counterpart, Mike Smith, didn’t mince words when it came to the loss and how the Coyotes played.
“We got outcompeted again … out-battled,” said Smith. “In the first period, we played a little better and competed a little harder. But it’s not enough. They’re a good hockey club. [In] saying that, we haven’t played near the way we are capable of playing.”
The Coyotes need to quickly find out how to play up to the level that the Kings are at right now, because they look like a Stanley Cup champion right now.
Their next chance comes on Thursday night as the series moves to Staples Center in Los Angeles for Games 3 and 4.
Game 3 starts at 6 p.m. Game 4 will take place on Sunday afternoon. The puck drops at noon.