Smith's shut out keeps Coyotes alive

Smith's shut out keeps Coyotes alive
May 20, 2012, 10:10 pm
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LOS ANGELES (AP) Cancel the coronation, or at least postpone it. The Phoenix Coyotes are still hanging around.Shane Doan scored two goals, Mike Smith made 36 saves in his third playoff shutout, and the Coyotes emphatically avoided playoff elimination with a 2-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals on Sunday.Ray Whitney and Antoine Vermette had assists for the Coyotes, who escaped a series sweep by snapping the eighth-seeded Kings' eight-game winning streak in front of long-suffering fans denied the chance to celebrate Los Angeles' first berth in the Stanley Cup finals since 1993.Phoenix was better from the opening faceoff, dominating an opponent that had been on an 11-1 run through the postseason.Doan scored on a power play in the first period and on a deflected shot in the second, silencing the crowd at the Kings' first loss since April 18.Game 5 is Tuesday night in Phoenix. Los Angeles is 7-0 on the road in the playoffs.Jonathan Quick stopped 19 shots with little help from his Los Angeles teammates, who were shut out for the first time in the postseason while hitting a bump in what had been one of the most impressive playoff runs in NHL history.The Kings have reached the Cup final just once in 44 seasons of existence, but their worst game of the postseason prevented them from claiming just the second conference title in franchise history - and becoming just the second No. 8 seed to win three playoff rounds.The resilient Coyotes are no strangers to adversity after making the playoffs in three straight seasons without an owner or impressive fan support. Asked by Doan and coach Dave Tippett to show their pride in Game 4, the Coyotes showed they're not done with the longest playoff run in franchise history.Smith, who has all three of his shutouts on the road, made several impressive saves while outplaying Quick for the first time in the series. Phoenix still must win three more games to become just the fourth team in NHL history to rally from an 0-3 series deficit, but the Coyotes finally regained the form they showed in knocking off Chicago and Nashville in the first two rounds.Box score Complete recapWatch all the highlights from Game 4 below: