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Coyotes with backs against the wall

The road to the Stanley Cup just got even tougher for
the Phoenix Coyotes with a 2-1 loss against the Los
Angeles Kings, putting the team down 3-0 in the series.

“None of us planned on being in it [down 3-0],” said
captain Shane Doan. “I don’t think it’s disbelief, but I
think it’s disappointed.”

The Coyotes came out strong in the first and second
periods, attacking the Kings’ zone and controlling the
puck. They were tied 1-1 after the second, but weren’t
able to carry their energy into the third period.

Fueled by Dwight King’s series-leading fifth goal which
put the Kings up 2-1 early in the third period, the Kings
moved one game closer to a Stanley Cup appearance.

The Kings have dominated their opponents so far in the
playoffs, outscoring them 37-17 and have won eight
games in a row, dating all the way back to April 22.

The Coyotes were faced with 12 penalty minutes, to the
Kings four and a couple of calls that Coyotes coach Dave
Tippett
didn’t agree with.

“If I told you what I really thought, I think it would
cost me a lot of money,” said Tippett. “Personally, I’ve
talked about this in a lot of meetings with Don [Maloney],
our general manager, that the game is turning a
little dishonest and it’s embellishment by players.”

In order to come back and make the Stanley Cup Finals the
Coyotes would have to make history — only three NHL teams
have ever come back from being down 3-0 in a playoff
series.

The Coyotes now have two days to rest, and regroup for an
elimination Game 4 on Sunday.

“We’ll be able to get focused, have a good day of
practice, whatever goes on, and just focus on Sunday. It’s
something that we’ve got nothing to lose. We’ve got to
come out and play,” said Coyotes defensemen Keith Yandle.
“It’s not like it’s never been done, we know. In this
group we’re a resilient group and we can battle back and
play hard.”

Tippett added that he just wants to see the team play to
their full potential in Game 4.

“We might as well come and make sure we give a real
honest evaluation of who we are and how we got here,”
Tippett said. “It’s as simple as that. Play as hard as we
can, and we’ll see what happens.”