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Arizona Coyotes

Updated May 21, 2012 - 3:55 pm

Coyotes attempting to join rare group

Phoenix Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett yells to the referee during the first period of Game 1 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference finals, Sunday, May 13, 2012, in Glendale, Ariz. The Kings won 4-2. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Phoenix Coyotes are trying to break into a very exclusive group.

Dave Tippett's team is attempting to become only the fourth team ever to climb out of a 3-0 deficit to win a Stanley Cup Playoff series, joining the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, 1975 New York Islanders and 2010 Philadelphia Flyers.

The 'Yotes took the first step toward that potentially historic accomplishment with a 2-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings Sunday afternoon at Staples Center. With the series shifting back to Glendale's Arena for Game 5, Phoenix is not getting ahead of itself.

"We recognize they're a good team, they're going to come play well, but we have to play the way we can to give ourselves the best chance to win," Tippett said Monday.

"I think it'll be a tight game again. That bodes to how we want to play and if it comes down to a couple good plays and a couple big saves and we can find a way to win."

The Coyotes did play their most complete game of the series Sunday, getting two goals from their captain Shane Doan and a Herculean effort from goalie Mike Smith between the pipes. Smith stopped all 36 shots he faced en route to his third playoff shutout.

The problem is, the Kings have been more than comfortable away from home during the quest for their first conference title since 1993. Darryl Sutter's squad is 11-2 overall, but a perfect 7-0 on the road in the playoffs.

"I really think it's tough to come into a building and [win] three times," Doan said. "They did it to Vancouver and we acknowledge that, but it's tough to do it again.

"We've got to find away to win that next one at home. That's really all we're thinking about. No one's really worrying too much other than just find a way to win that one at home."

If there's one thing that's been a constant theme for the Coyotes all season long, it's been the brilliant goaltending of Smith.

"Whenever we've needed him all year, in the real big game, he's been unbelievable," Doan said. "There's something special about him that I'm sure glad he's on my team.

"He's a guy that rises to the occasion, loves the dramatics and is fun to have your team."

Game 5 is set for Tuesday night at 6:00 at Arena.


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