Game 3 was the most competitive of the series so far. The Coyotes showed a lot of heart in how they out-battled the Kings at the beginning of this one without their top Center and in a hostile environment.
Eventually though, the Kings got back to their dominant ways and didn't look back.
Here are the charts:
via NHL Numbers, incredibly awesome site please click link and read the article.
- The Kings 1st line was back to it's Game 1 form (77% Zone Start Adjusted Corsi), completely dominating the puck. Sutter matched them against Gordon (44% ES Ice Time Against) and Vermette (32% ITA). They also continue to be more than a handful for Oliver Ekman-Larsson (65% ITA).
- The biggest surprise for me is that the Coyotes depth lines were the most effective at driving play, L3 Gordon (56% ZSAC) and L4 Pouliot (50% ZSAC). I would have thought that they would have suffered the most from Martin Hanzal's absence due to pulling Langkow out of the bottom 6 and having him center the top line. It should be noted though that the Coyotes mainly rolled 3 lines in this game and very sparingly deployed their 4th. Since the Gordon line and Kopitar's ratings were both positive, even though they were matched mainly against each other, one can surmise that the Gordon line was dominant on the puck when not facing Kopitar.
- Doughty/ Scuderi and the Richards line were able to stifle the Coyotes 1st line, which had to be centered by Langkow in Hanzal's absence. Hanzal's suspension had a huge effect on the Coyotes in GM 3 and it seems as though they could have been able to take it should he have been in. The Coyotes rolling solely 3 lines seemed to wear them down as the game progressed.
- The Richards line tough did lose the scoring chance battle against the Gordon line, which is odd since the Gordon line is used primarily for defensive purposes.
- The Stoll line (with the help of Martinez/Greene) was a standout in the scoring chance battle. They were an eye popping +4 against the Coyotes top line, which was a huge boon for the Kings and went along way in helping them to a victory
Even Strength Line Combinations:
- L1 = Brown-Kopitar-Williams
- L2 = Penner-Richards-Carter
- L3 = King-Stoll-Lewis
- L4 = Clifford-Richardson-Nolan
- D1 = Scuderi-Doughty
- D2 = Mitchell-Voynov
- D3 = Martinez-Greene
- L1 = Pyatt-Langkow-Vrbata
- L2 = Whitney-Vermette-Doan
- L3 = Korpikoski-Gordon-Boedker
- L4 = Bissonnette-Pouliot-Chipchura
- D1 = Yandle-Morris
- D2 = Rozival-Ekman-Larsson
- D3 = Klesla-Stone