In the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs the Coyotes were hockey’s version of Cinderella, as they made their way through the competition. Until 2012, Phoenix had never won a playoff series but this version of the Coyotes knocked off the Chicago Blackhawks in six-games in the Western Conference quarter-finals and then they eliminated the Nashville Predators in five-games in the Western Conference semi-finals.
The Coyotes historic Stanley Cup playoff run ended in the Western Conference finals against the Kings. The clock struck midnight on the Coyotes and after five-games they were sent back home by the eventual Stanley Cup champions.
Is their a rivalry brewing between this pair of Pacific Division rivals? Can the Coyotes ever forget how close they were to holding Lord Stanley’s chalice before it was taken away from their grasp? Can a regular season victory over the Kings help heal some of the raw wounds that the Coyotes got during the Western Conference finals?
Those are tough questions and the answers won’t be apparent for a long time. But it stands to reason that the Coyotes still have scars and bad memories associated with their early dismissal from the Stanley Cup playoffs.
On Saturday, January 26 these old foes will get reacquainted at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Az. The puck is scheduled to drop at 6 p.m. (MST) The Coyotes and Kings will meet four more times after this latest rumble.
Head to Head:
2012-13 record: 1-3-0 (2-points), 4th in the Pacific Division and 13th in the Western Conference
Goals: Steve Sullivan (4)
Assists: Mikkel Boedker (4)
Points: Sullivan (5)
Wins: Jason LaBarbera (1)
Goals Against Average: LaBarbera (2.78)
Los Angeles Kings
2012-13 record: 0-2-1 (1-point), Last in the Pacific Division and last in the Western Conference
Goals: Four tied with one
Assists: Kyle Clifford (3)
Points: Kyle Clifford (4)
Goals Against Average: Jonathan Quick (3.33)
Coyotes News & Notes:
- Steve Sullivan has five-points in his last two games. Four-goals and an assist.
Antoine Vermette scored a goal and dished out a pair of assists against San Jose
Center Matthew Lombardi is out indefinitely after sustaining an upper-body injury during Thursday's game against the Sharks.
Forward Nick Johnson was called up by the Coyotes from their American Hockey League affiliate.
Goaltender Jason LaBarbera, in two-games filling in for Mike Smith, has stopped 56 of 61 shots for a .911 SV% and 2.78 GAA.
As of this posting there has been no announcement by the Coyotes about the return of starting goalie Mike Smith. Smith left the January 23rd game, against the Columbus Blue Jackets, midway in the first period and did not return. In his place LaBarbera is manning the cage.