An opportunity to sweep the Coyotes passed them by, so the LA Kings make the trek into the desert tonight seeking to bring an end to their Western Final series with Phoenix.
Showing some of the resolve that brought them to the western final, the Coyotes outplayed their hosts over the weekend, quieting a Staples Centre crowd that was clearly in a mood to celebrate and judging how the sports weekend went for Angelinos, the Kings setback was one of many to be suffered by LA based sports teams over the last 72 hours.
The Kings, who still hold the hammer when it comes to their series with Phoenix can stand alone at Staples this week should they finally relegate the Coyotes to off season pursuits, with the Clippers and Lakers now eliminated in the NBA playoffs, post season party plans will be devoted solely to the Kings, should they deliver.
With that in mind, the first step to a Southern California party arrives tonight, leading the series 3 games to 1 the Kings should be mindful that allowing the Coyotes to gain some momentum is perhaps not a wise strategy, there's some thought that the LA players were perhaps reading too many press clippings from the previous three games and let their focus slip.
If so, we imagine that Darryl Sutter will have gained their attention once again and rather forcefully, Sutter who has traditionally been a no nonsense kind of coach, will by now have refocused his players to the task at hand, the little jobs that they let slide in game 4 will be revisited.
Work ethic is long a mark of a Sutter coached team, the Coyotes had more of that ethic in Game 4, the Kings need to reclaim it in Game 5 otherwise, the Coyotes may sniff out the scent of success, a possibility that as the previous series has shown has bad consequences for the opposing teams.
If the Kings hope to be the darlings of the California spring sports scene, a return to their dominance of the first three games is going to be required, otherwise, the Clippers and Lakers may have some company out on the beach.
Game Five-- Los Angeles 4 at Phoenix 3 (OT)
Los Angeles WINS the series 4 games to 1
Previews and Reviews
Los Angeles Times-- Kings take high road to Stanley Cup finals
Los Angeles Times-- Los Angeles Kings never lost magic touch on road to Cup finals
Los Angeles Times-- Los Angeles Kings find success by thriving in enemy territory
LA Daily News-- Kings head for Stanley Cup finals
LA Daily News-- Kings 4, Phoenix 3 (OT): Now the West is won
Arizona Republic-- After gritty effort, Phoenix Coyotes eliminated in Game 5
Arizona Republic-- Phoenix Coyotes early lost chances proved to be costly
Arizona Republic-- Phoenix Coyotes' future looks bright after playoff breakthrough
Arizona Republic-- Phoenix Coyotes bitter taste from series shouldn't overshadow...
USA Today-- Coyotes captain rankled by Brown hit, officiating
USA Today-- Kings edge Coyotes in overtime to win West
USA Today-- Kings beat Coyotes 4-3 in OT
Globe and Mail-- Kings eliminate Coyotes in overtime
Globe and Mail-- Dustin Penner goes from pancake punch line to playoff hero
National Post-- Dustin Penner sends Kings to Stanley Cup final with OT winner
Los Angeles Times-- Los Angeles Kings succeeding despite failings of power play
Los Angeles Times-- Kings focus on knowing what needs to be done
LA Daily News-- Kings want to regain power
Arizona Republic-- Phoenix Coyotes cautiously optimistic heading into Game 5
Arizona Republic-- Phoenix Coyotes' Radim Vrbata neutralized by Los Angeles Kings
Arizona Republic-- NHL's floppers need to clean up their act
USA Today-- Coyotes hope to carry momentum into Game 5
USA Today-- Shane Doan showcases leadership
USA Today-- Kings to try again to wrap up series
Globe and Mail-- Coyotes look to plant another seed of doubt in Kings
National Post-- Coyotes are feeling the pressure at home
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