Here are three elements you need to know about Game 3 of the West final between the Los Angeles Kings and Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday. The Kings lead the series 2-0.
Coyotes need to be disciplined
Game 2 went south for the Coyotes after captain Shane Doan was thumbed for his check-from-behind on Los Angeles forward Trevor Lewis in the second period. Phoenix centre Martin Hanzal followed suit with his dangerous hit-from-behind on Kings captain Dustin Brown and Coyotes defenceman Derek Morris kneed Los Angles blue-liner Matt Greene.
Even Coyotes goalie Mike Smith exhibited some frustration with a slash on Brown and with his honest post-game remarks that urged his teammates to get more traffic in front of Kings goalie Jonathan Quick.
Hanzal will miss Game 3 as the result of his actions. He was suspended for one game.
Even though he has just one goal in five games, Hanzal is a top-two centre on the Coyotes. His size and skill will be missed with his one-game suspension.
Marc-Antoine Pouliot will replace Hanzal in the lineup. The native of Quebec City last played on May 5 in the second-round series against Nashville.
A power-play goal would be nice for Phoenix
There are so many reasons why the Kings have reeled off seven consecutive wins and haven't trailed in a game since the first period of the second-round series opener against the St. Louis Blues. Los Angeles' success on the penalty kill has contributed to its impressive run.
The Kings not only have gone 9-for-9 in the West final, they have killed off the past 28 disadvantages. While Los Angeles was the more disciplined team in the two games in Phoenix, the Coyotes could not get on track on the power play.
The importance of Game 3
No team has been able to overcome a 2-0 deficit in the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, and returning home with a two-game lead is familiar territory for the Kings. This is the same situation they were in the first two rounds and on both occasions Los Angeles managed to extend its lead to three games.
In 10 of the previous 12 series this spring, the team that won Game 3 went on to win the series.
Kings projected lines
Dustin Brown - Anze Kopitar - Justin Williams
Dustin Penner - Mike Richards - Jeff Carter
Dwight King - Jarret Stoll - Trevor Lewis
Kyle Clifford - Brad Richardson - Jordan Nolan
Starting goalie: Jonathan Quick
Coyotes projected lines
Ray Whitney - Antoine Vermette - Shane Doan
Taylor Pyatt - Daymond Langkow - Radim Vrbata
Mikkel Boedker - Boyd Gordon - Lauri Korpikoski
Gilbert Brule - Marc-Antoine Pouliot - Kyle Chipchura
Starting goalie: Mike Smith
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