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WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS GAME 5: KINGS 4, PHOENIX
3 (OT) : KINGS-COYOTES FYI

Thriving in enemy territory

May 23, 2012|Chris Foster
  • Phoenix forward Mikkel Boedker, top, jumps over the back of Kings goalie Jonathan Quick during the third period of the Kings' 4-3 overtime victory in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals on Tuesday.
Phoenix forward Mikkel Boedker, top, jumps over the back of Kings goalie… (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles…)

GLENDALE, ARIZ. — The Kings got to the Stanley Cup finals by doing what they have done best the last six weeks -- winning on the road.

Dustin Penner's goal with 2 minutes 18 seconds left in the first overtime gave the Kings a 4-3 victory Tuesday. It gave the Kings eight consecutive road wins during the playoffs, an NHL record.

"We like being the underdog, being in the other guy's barn, getting booed. We love that," defenseman Drew Doughty said.

As to why the Kings have had such success on the road, defenseman Rob Scuderi said, "I think we just play simple, play smart, play our game."

That, he said, "gives us confidence. We've been down a couple times, but we always feel that if we just continue to play the right way that we'll get back into any game. It's served us pretty well so far."

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday, May 24, 2012 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 News Desk 1 inches; 46 words Type of Material: Correction
Kings-Coyotes: An article in the May 23 Sports section about Game 5 of the NHL playoff series between the L.A. Kings and the Phoenix Coyotes said that the Kings received the Colin Campbell Bowl for winning the Western Conference championship. It is the Clarence Campbell Bowl.

It did Tuesday. The Kings came back twice, after trailing the Coyotes, 1-0 and 2-1.

"Most road games, we have gotten off to really, really fast starts," Kings captain Dustin Brown said. "We didn't tonight. They dominated us in the first period. We had to fight back."

The Kings will open the Stanley Cup finals on the road, either at the New York Rangers or New Jersey Devils. But Brown said the Kings' success on the road "doesn't matter at this point. Now it's about getting up for every game."

Brass happy

Tim Leiweke, the chief executive of AEG, the Kings' parent company, was giddy postgame.

Leiweke and team owner Philip Anschutz -- a rare visitor at games -- have taken a big share of fan abuse since AEG bought the team in 1995.

"This is especially great for our fans," Leiweke said. "They deserve it. Now we're going to have some fun."

Leiweke road in the elevator with the box containing the Colin Campbell Bowl, given to the Western Conference champion. Observing the player superstition about not touching the conference championship cup, Leiweke said, "We're going to take this home and bury it for now."

Get shorty

The Kings picked up their fifth short-handed goal of the playoffs, which came at a critical moment of the game.

With Phoenix leading, 1-0, the Kings were called for too many men on the ice.

Late in the Coyotes' power play, the Kings' Anze Kopitar won a draw in the Phoenix zone, with Doughty flinging a shot from the blue line. Kopitar tipped the puck past goaltender Mike Smith to tie the score 11 minutes 13 seconds into the first period.

Blues note

The Kings are four victories away from breaking a rather dubious tie. The Kings and St. Louis Blues, both expansion teams in 1967, have played the most regular-season games without winning the Stanley Cup.

Brown town

The Kings' Brown was not greeted warmly by Phoenix fans when he went out to receive the Colin Campbell Bowl postgame.

The ceremony came moments after Brown leveled the Coyotes' Michal Rozsival at the Kings' blue line. Brown appeared to catch Rozsival with an elbow on television replays.

Brown said, "I caught him with my whole side, from shoulder to toe."

Rozsival had to be helped off the ice. Phoenix fans threw debris onto the ice after Penner scored.

Hockey town

With the Lakers and Clippers eliminated, the Kings are anticipating an upswing in local fan interest.

"Yeah, I mean, probably addition by subtraction, right?" Penner said. "Now there's less fans watching basketball, so hockey seems to be the only thing on, other than the Dodgers."

Note to Penner: Don't forget the Galaxy, another AEG property.

--

chris.foster@latimes.com

twitter.com/cfosterlatimes

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