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NHL Playoffs 2012: Los Angeles Kings Are Within Sweeping Distance

Michael Prunka@MichaelPrunkaCorrespondent IMay 18, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 17:  (L-R) Jarret Stoll #28 and Dwight King #74 of the Los Angeles Kings celebrate after Kings third period goal against the Phoenix Coyotes in Game Three of the Western Conference Final during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center on May 17, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Kings continued to steamroll through the Stanley Cup playoffs with another win over the Phoenix Coyotes in Game 3 of the Western Conference Championship. Their 2-1 win on home ice brings them within one game of sweeping their second straight series.

Looking at the way this series has gone, you’d never guess that the Kings and Coyotes split their six regular season games. With their victory on Thursday night, the Kings improved their postseason record to an astonishing 11-1.

Simply put, the eighth-seeded Kings have taken the Stanley Cup playoffs by storm.

The Coyotes finally showed some fire in Game 3 when Daymond Langkow found the back of the net to make it 1-0 in the first minute of the second period. It marked the first time since Game 1 of their second round series against the St. Louis Blues that the Kings had to play from behind.

They didn't trail for long as Anze Kopitar scored a breakaway goal off of his backhand. The rest of the second period was scoreless, and Dwight King would score the game winning goal for the Kings very early in the third period.

The Coyotes now have a must win game on their hands on Sunday. Even with two days of rest, the Coyotes will have a tough game ahead of them. Are the Kings already in their heads?

After taking the lead early on in the third, the Kings completely shut down the Coyotes. They held them to a mere four shots in the entire third period.

On top of that, the Coyotes’ discipline was clearly slipping. Radim Vrbata’s slashing minor in the last minute of the game essentially eliminated any chance of a Phoenix comeback.

The Kings will host Game 4 in Los Angeles. After a weekend of playoff basketball in the city, the crowd will certainly be on fire for this game. All signs seem to point to the Kings continuing their dominant playoff run by sweeping the series, but we’ll have to wait for Sunday’s game to see for sure. 

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