Coyotes ready to step up

Phoenix Coyotes were outplayed in the series opener of the Western Conference Finals and have admitted they need to improve for Game 2 against LA Kings on Tuesday night (Coyotes 11/10, Kings 8/11 Match Betting).

The Kings improved their postseason record to 9-1 with a 4-2 win on Sunday night at the Arena – despite entering the playoffs as the eighth seeds.

Darryl Sutter’s men thumped Presidents Cup winners Vancouver 4-1 as well as second seeds St Louis 4-0, drawing first blood in the Conference finals series against the third-seeded qualifiers.

The Kings are now 6-0 on the road and should be confident of further glory going into their second outing of the series in Phoenix, although Coyotes forward Boyd Gordon has vowed his side will improve.

“We know we need to be better,” Gordon said. “They’re a very good team, they work hard, they compete and they battle. If we come out like we did in Game 1, we’ll be in big trouble.”

The Coyotes have largely been outplayed in all of their play-off games to date but have found ways to win, and coach Dave Tippett has called on his players to dig even deeper to find a way of beating the in-form Kings (Coyotes +1.5 1/3, Kings -1.5 9/4 Puck Line).

“We’ve been disappointed in the way we played some other games,” Tippett said. “But, like I said before, we’ve been able to find a way to kind of scratch and claw our way out of it.

“First and foremost, if you’re not willing to jump in and win a few more one-on-one battles, the tactical stuff you may as well throw it out the window.”

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