Video: Anze Kopitar makes Coyotes’ first lead a short one


“Finally,” the Phoenix Coyotes must have thought. Daymond Langkow split the Los Angeles Kings’ defense and beat Jonathan Quick to collect a 1-0 tally for the Coyotes first lead of the series, their third goal of the Western Conference finals and his first of the 2012 playoffs. Yet that lead lasted about two minutes as Dustin Brown sent a long pass to Anze Kopitar, who managed to split a backhander by Mike Smith:

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This isn’t the first time the Kings have squashed momentum with stunning speed. They hadn’t trailed since Game 1 of the St. Louis Blues series and answered possible change-of-pace goals with daunting speed last round, something that made Ken Hitchcock take notice.

If you want a movie-world equivalent, think of it this way. When a team scores against the Kings, they react so quickly that they resemble the evil cyborg T-1000 chasing down a motorcycle in “Terminator II.” (A movie that released in the meat of the franchise’s last great era, by the way.)

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.

Bruins put Morrow on IR, bring up Cross

Brady Skjei, Joe Morrow
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Lower-level defense is not the biggest of many worries for the Boston Bruins, yet it might be another in a series of headaches.

CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty points out that Joe Morrow has been placed on IR while AHL stalwart Tommy Cross was called up.

With a -3 rating and negligible offensive impact so far, few will really be missing Morrow (pictured). From the way Haggerty describes Cross, it’s a pretty cool story if he gets into the lineup:

Cross was named captain of the Providence Bruins this season, and actually had a strong training camp as the hard-hitting, tough stay-at-home defenseman he’s developed into during his five years in the B’s minor league system. The 2007 second round pick was a highly regarded potential puck-moving defenseman when he was drafted prior to his Boston College career, but a series of knee injuries negated some of his speed and puck-moving capabilities.

Granted, the Bruins would prefer a sure-thing improvement over a feel-good story right now, as this 0-3-0 start marks their worst beginning in some time.

Injuries have been an issue in general, too, with Zdeno Chara‘s slow start mixed with Dennis Seidenberg on the mend and Brad Marchand in limbo.

The Bruins’ next game comes against the Avalanche in Colorado. Maybe they’ll start to mend things on the ice?