Dustin Penner scored with less than three minutes to play in overtime to send the Los Angeles Kings into the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup Finals.
The Kings won 4-3 to eliminate the Phoenix Coyotes by taking the best-of-seven Western Conference final by four games to one. Los Angeles will meet the New York Rangers or New Jersey Devils in the championship round.
Penner scored with an 18-foot wristshot 17 minutes, 42 seconds into overtime for the Kings, who advanced to the title round for the first time since 1993, when Wayne Gretzky was part of the Los Angeles team that lost in its only finals appearance to the Montreal Canadiens.
“I got a lucky bounce,” Penner told reporters after the Kings won an NHL-record eighth straight game on the road. “I just waited for it to settle down and I got a chance to get it in the net.”
Taylor Pyatt gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead in the first period and Anze Kopitar tied it with a 21-foot short-handed tip-in at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Arizona.
Marc-Antoine Pouliot restored the Coyotes’ lead in the second period before Drew Doughty and Mike Richards scored back- to-back goals 2 1/2 minutes apart to give the Kings a 3-2 lead. Keith Yandle ended the period with an 11-foot wristshot to tie the game at 3-3.
Tonight, the Eastern Conference final resumes at Madison Square Garden in New York with the Rangers and Devils tied at two games apiece.
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