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Smith: No need to hit the panic button

Down 2-0, there’s no doubt that the Phoenix Coyotes
have a hill to climb if they are going to make a comeback
against the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference
Final.

Coach Dave Tippett admits they were outplayed in Game 2,
and calls it one of the most lopsided performances he has
seen.

“We’ve had some games like this, but not to the point
where
we got outcompeted as bad as we did,” Tippett said.

The Coyotes were outshot 40-24 in the 4-0 loss, giving
Kings goalie Jonathon Quick his team record-tying third
career playoff shutout (Felix Potvin also had three in
1993-1994).

Tippett said that he hopes the team can learn from the
mistakes in Game 2, and get better before time runs out.

“We have to play better if we’re going to have a chance to
win,” Tippett said. “I recognize that they’re a good team,
but we’re going to have to play better if we’re going to
have a chance to be successful.”

Heading into Thursday night’s game with the Kings, the
Coyotes will be without Martin Hanzal who was suspended
for one game after a boarding penalty against Los Angeles
captain Dustin Brown.

The Coyotes did, however, draw a break in avoiding
suspensions against Shane Doan or Derek Morris. Doan
was called for boarding against Kings center Trevor Lewis,
and Morris for a kneeing penalty against defenseman Rob
Scuderi in Tuesday night’s game.

Though the Coyotes are in the Western Conference Final
for the first time in the team’s history, Doan said that
the team is not satisfied.

“Their players have been playing great — once it starts
to
roll, it seems easy,” said Doan. “We have to find a way to
get ours going.”

Goalie Mike Smith was understandably frustrated after the
Coyotes Game 2 loss, but did not blame the team’s
defensive play, and
said that there’s no reason to hit the panic
button. He said the team needs to take the series one game
at a time, and increase their intensity.

“We haven’t yet elevated our game to where it needs to be
when we’re this close to the Stanley Cup Finals, but we
recognize that and we will be better tomorrow night
because of it,” Smith said.

Smith added that the 2-0 start to the series is
frustrating, because he knows the team is capable of
playing better.

“It’s obviously been frustrating so far,” Smith said.
“It’s one thing to lose when you’re playing your best
game, but when you’re losing games and you’re not playing
up to your capability I think that’s why it’s
frustrating.”

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