NHL Playoffs 2012: LA Kings Will Finish Coyotes If They Bury Their Chances

By now, Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick need only telepathically communicate a simple game-plan message to his teammates.

Just get me a minimum of three goals at the other end and I’ll take care of the rest.

Only once in their first 13 outings of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs have the Kings seen Quick authorize three or more opposing tallies. And only once have they failed to tune the opposing mesh in an entire 60-minute tangle.

Those constitute their only two losses to date, the former being Game 4 of the Western Conference quarterfinals versus Vancouver, the latter being the fourth and latest installment in the ongoing conference final series against Phoenix.

From top to bottom, over the past six weeks, there has been nothing to gripe about for the Hollywood hockey faithful. If anything, yet another appreciable item all but surfaces by the day.

Those players who fueled the 8-1 romp over the conference’s top two seeds from Vancouver and St. Louis have generally retained their performance rates through their first four matches with the Coyotes. Others, such as Jeff Carter, Dwight King and Trevor Lewis have perked up and accelerated their productivity rates.

Before opposing stopper Mike Smith blanked them on Sunday to save the Coyotes season, King, Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams appeared on each of the series’ first three score sheets. In all, 11 L.A. skaters have had a hand in running up a cumulative 10-5 scoring differential over Phoenix.

The fact that they could not evoke any of that in Game 4 and instead allowed Coyote captain Shane Doan to single-handedly beat them 2-0, hardly sets an ominous tone. It does not presage any sequence of a peak and epic downturn.

Nor is there any reason to assume the Kings, 7-0 away from the Staples Center this spring, will have run out of road perfection when the time comes f...

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