[Box Score] - [Game Page] - [Los Angeles Reaction]
A very brief recap just to give folks a place to put their comments. The story of the game was certainly the playoff intensity between the Phoenix Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings, fighting for their playoff spots and seeding in the first of two match-ups in 5 days. Coyotes ended up with the better outcome thanks largely to an amazing game by Mike Smith, who recorded his second consecutive shutout and has now gone more than 135 minutes without allowing a goal.
On the other end of the ice, Radim Vrbata scored his team leading 27th goal of the season tying his career high with a power play goal in the second period. Jonathan Quick was also sensational and got the tough-luck loss. For the Kings it was their 7th time being shut out this season and that has been the remarkable problem for the Kings this year - lack of goal scoring.
On the downside for the Coyotes, defenseman Rostislav Klesla took a high hit (clean, although possibly to the head) from Kings captain Dustin Brown and did not return to the game and looked very woozy leaving the ice. I will be shocked if he is back in the lineup this weekend or even for the revenge match with the Kings on Tuesday.
There were also a plethora of fights in the game with Shane Doan battling Brown on the ensuing faceoff after the Klesla injury. Martin Hanzal and Mike Richards dropped the gloves (and Richards got away with a pretty blatant instigating penalty), Raffi Torres tossed down with Colin Frasor, and finally Paul Bissonnette (reinserted into the lineup for the banged up Taylor Pyatt and playing a very strong overall game) dropped the gloves with Kevin Westgarth for seemingly the 10th time.
Three Best Coyotes On The Ice
1. Mike Smith
2. Mike Smith
3. Mike Smith
3a. Radim Vrbata
Comment of the Night
The Dallas Stars who won in OT tonight against the Flames come to Jobing.com on Saturday night for Alice Cooper Bobblehead night. Dallas has dropped a bit back and today completed a trade with the Flyers for a few picks which may signal where they think their season is going. Regardless, they'd love to play spoiler against Phoenix, so it should be a tough battle. Yours truly will be in the Jack in the Box "Ask the Expert" chat over at the Fox Sports Arizona page with Craig Morgan for the game, so make sure you open up multiple tabs in your browser that night.