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Cullen: Penner's OT goal gives Kings berth in Cup Final

Scott Cullen
5/23/2012 12:44:47 PM
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Dustin Penner scored the series-winning goal at 17:42 of overtime, giving the Los Angeles Kings a 4-3 win in Game Five of the Western Conference Final, earning the Kings their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Final since 1992-1993.

Penner's goal came almost immediately after Coyotes defenceman Michal Rozsival left the game following a controversial, yet unpenalized knee-on-knee hit at the Los Angeles blueline by Kings winger Dustin Brown.

Kings D Drew Doughty was outstanding, contributing a goal and an assist, while playing more than 30 minutes in the game. Willie Mitchell played a game-high 34:56 on the Kings' blueline.

Kings RW Justin Williams led all skaters with eight shots on goal as the Kings outshot the Coyotes 51-41, which was actually a lower differential than the average margin -- 14.2 shots -- by which the Kings outshot the Coyotes in the series.

The Kings had three players finish the series with five points. It's not surprise that Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar were two, but Jeff Carter was the other and he's starting to come on after a slow start to the postseason.

Coyotes LW Taylor Pyatt had a goal an assist and six hits in Game Five, but was on the wrong end of territorial play most of the night, being outshot by 11 (19-8) when he was on the ice.

Marc-Antoine Pouliot scored the Coyotes' second goal, his first in the NHL since April 2, 2010, when he was with the Edmonton Oilers, a goal that was assisted, incidentally, by Kings LW Penner.

Coyotes C Martin Hanzal, who was visibly upset at the end of the game, right through the handshake line, had 14 hits for the Coyotes, while C Boyd Gordon dominated on the dot, winning 18 of 21 faceoffs.

Ultimately, the Coyotes couldn't overcome offensive troubles. Shane Doan and Derek Morris tied for the team lead with three points in five games and the Coyotes were fighting uphill without production from Hanzal, Radim Vrbata, Ray Whitney, Lauri Korpikoski and Antoine Vermette, a quintet that combined for zero goals and three assists in the series

The Coyotes overachieved to get to this point and they deserve credit for their first significant playoff run, but they were beaten by a better team, a Kings team that has been dominant in the playoffs, winning 12 times and losing twice in 14 games.

Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.




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