EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — Although the Los Angeles Kings are in uncharted playoff territory for this roster, they’re meeting a familiar opponent there.
The Kings spent Tuesday in early preparations for their all-Pacific Division matchup with the Phoenix Coyotes. Los Angeles is making its second trip to the conference finals in 45 years of existence to face a franchise in its first NHL conference final ever.
Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown thinks the unusual matchup is great for hockey, boosting two long-suffering markets while underlining the league’s parity and the Pacific’s toughness.
Both teams are built around goaltending, with Jonathan Quick and Mike Smith emerging as two of the NHL’s best puck-stoppers this season. Brown thinks the teams are similar on the rest of the ice as well, with solid defenses and grinding offenses.