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Coyotes once again face elimination at hands of Kings

The Phoenix Coyotes, on the day of Game 5, are in the same
place they were when Game 4 ended.

Win, and they stay alive. Lose, and a magical season comes
to an end.

Got the Kings right where they want ’em, right? Not
exactly.

“Our backs are against the wall,” Coyotes coach Dave
Tippett said Tuesday morning. “Still we know we
have to play very well if we have a chance to win.

“Coming home, we know there will be lots of excitement in
the building.”

And therein lies the Coyotes’ saving grace heading into
its second must-win game in as many tries: they’re back at
home, where fans have rallied behind this team few saw
coming.

“The buzz continues to get better and better,” Tippett
said. “Obviously this run in the playoffs here has been a
lot more excitement. Notice a lot of people that maybe
were acquaintances before, but now you have a lot of
people that know exactly what’s going on.”

That’s not to say the Coyotes will find extra motivation
playing in front of another Whiteout. After all, if the
very survival of your season isn’t enough to get you to
play hard, chances are things aren’t going to go your way,
no matter what building you’re in.

Then figure in the fact that the Kings are undefeated on
the road this postseason — a perfect 7 for 7 thus far —
and you have what may amount to be a home ice
disadvantage, if there is such a thing.

But, as Coyotes captain Shane Doan has said, the law of
averages would say the Kings are due to drop one away from
home.

“Yeah, [we] obviously recognize everything they’ve done,
they’ve accomplished with winning seven in a row,” Doan
said Tuesday. “It’s going to be difficult; have to find a
way to do it.”

If they can find a way to do it, beat the Kings and extend
this series another game, the Coyotes will get to go
through this process all over again.

Doan said while it is big for the team to keep coming up
big with their season on the line, he’s not worried about
any type of let down, not now.

“I don’t think that’s going to happen on our team,” he
said. “Our team, pretty confident in our group, expect
good things.”

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