Phoenix coach Dave Tippett was glad to see his team show up today in Los Angeles.
“That’s the best we’ve seen in the series, that’s for sure,” said Tippett following the Coyotes’ 2-0 victory over the Kings that extended the Western Conference finals for at least one more game.
“Our guys competed hard. Little things that make the game move ahead for you. We live for another day.”
Tippett’s squad didn’t look particularly competitive to start Game 4 at the Staples Center, and you have to wonder how the Coyotes would’ve responded if the Kings had managed to convert one of their two early man advantages. But the only reason you’re left wondering is because it didn’t happen.
“[Mike] Smith was excellent [in goal] and our penalty killing was excellent,” said Tippett.
And once captain Shane Doan opened the scoring on the power play at 14:19 of the first period, the Coyotes were able to turn their focus to keeping the Kings to the perimeter and limiting prime scoring chances.
“A lead is valuable for us,” said Tippett. “You get a lead, you feel you can push the game along. That’s exactly what happened tonight.”
Of course, the only other time the Coyotes managed to take the lead – in Game 3, when they opened the scoring in the second period – the Kings tied it up two minutes later.
This time, Phoenix was able to hold on and force a Game 5 Tuesday at Jobing.com Arena.
“We’re going home,” said Tippett. “We’re excited about going home, playing in front of our fans again.”