Phoenix Coyotes at Los Angeles Kings (-220, 4.5)
THE STORY: The Los Angeles Kings have crafted one of the most dominant playoff performances in recent memory, leaving them a win away from reaching the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in 19 years. They'll get their first crack at it Sunday afternoon as they entertain the Phoenix Coyotes in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals. A capacity crowd is expected at the Staples Center, which has already seen plenty of playoff action this weekend and could be the site of the Kings' biggest win since 1993.
TV: 3 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC
ABOUT THE COYOTES: Little has gone right for Phoenix in the conference finals. After coming in on a high following a six-game elimination of the Nashville Predators, the Coyotes' vaunted defense has been overmatched by a deep, speedy Kings roster that has generated 116 shots through the first three games of the series. Coach Dave Tippett noted that his club took several penalties in the third period of Game 3 that perhaps shouldn't have been called. "The game is turning a little dishonest and it's embellishment by players," Tippett said. "When it's done well, it's very hard for the referees, very hard."
ABOUT THE KINGS: Given the way Los Angeles has played this postseason, it's easy to forget that the club came into the Stanley Cup tournament as the eighth seed in the West. And yet, despite having to tangle with the top three teams in the conference, the Kings are just the third team in NHL history to take 3-0 leads in each of its first three series. Los Angeles failed to close out Vancouver at home, dropping Game 4 of its first-round series for its only loss of the playoffs. The Kings used home-ice to beat the St. Louis Blues in the fourth game of round two and will look to do the same against the Coyotes.
- The under is 6-1-2 in the last nine meetings in Los Angeles.
- Coyotes are 1-5 in the last six meetings in Los Angeles.
- Kings are 20-6 in their last 26 overall.
1. The 1995 Detroit Red Wings and 2008 Pittsburgh Penguins both opened with 3-0 leads in their first three best-of-seven series. Both teams went on to lose in the Stanley Cup finals.
2. The Kings have gone without a power-play goal in eight of their 12 postseason games, including an 0-for-5 effort in their 2-1 victory in Game 3.
3. Coyotes F Martin Hanzal returns to the lineup after serving a one-game suspension for boarding Kings captain Dustin Brown in the third period of Game 2.