The Los Angeles Kings defeated the Phoenix Coyotes 4-2 in Game 1 of the National Hockey League’s Western Conference finals, improving their record to 6-0 away from home this postseason.
The Kings never trailed, held a 48-27 advantage in shots and snapped a 2-2 tie on Dustin Brown’s goal 2:11 into the third period last night at Jobing.com Arena in Phoenix.
“We had a lot of rest and, coming out of the gates, we just wanted to make sure we pushed the pace,” said Kings center Anze Kopitar, who scored 3:53 into the first period, when Los Angeles outshot Phoenix 17-4. “It’s a little bit easier when you score first.”
Dwight King added a pair of goals for Los Angeles, including an empty-net score with 47.7 seconds left.
The Kings, the eighth seed in the West, had six days off after completing a four-game sweep of the No. 2 St. Louis Blues in the second round. They knocked off the top-seeded Vancouver Canucks in the opening round of the playoffs.
Derek Morris and Mikkel Boedker had goals for the Coyotes, who host Game 2 tomorrow.
“We weren’t close in that game, we got beat in every facet,” Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. “Hopefully we take some lessons from it and we can be better next time.”
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