May 23, 2012 8:20 am

The Key Three: May 22

What, exactly, were the odds, on Dec. 14 of the Kings being in the Stanley Cup Finals? Beyond that, what were the odds that the Kings would advance to the Finals on an overtime goal by Dustin Penner? The word “astronomical’’ wouldn’t be an overstatement. The entire game-winning play illustrated how far Penner has come. He made the play happen by flipping a quick backhand pass to Jeff Carter, who took the puck to the net. Then, Penner didn’t give up on the play. He skated to the slot, pounced on a loose puck and scored. Penner, who maintained a good nature and humility throughout his troubled season, looked as though the weight of the world had been lifted from his shoulders when the puck found the back of the net.

The Kings and Phoenix Coyotes put on an amazing show last night, a game that one veteran hockey writer called the best game of the playoffs so far. It’s tough to argue. The game featured dramatic turns, some outstanding individual efforts and some moments of good fortune, and a long stretch of time, in the third period and overtime, in which everyone in the building seemed to be holding their breath in anticipation. The Kings twice rallied from deficits, got another huge shorthanded goal and a no-quit effort from Jonathan Quick. It was playoff hockey at its finest. What was the key aspect of the Kings’ 4-3 overtime victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in Game 5? I present three options at the link below, and you can vote for your choice…

The Key Three: May 22

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For those who enjoy the traditional game recap, it can be found by clicking here.

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