Game ones this post season have been a struggle for Coyotes

Arizona Sports News online

There have been little the Coyotes have done wrong during this post season run they are currently on. But one area the team has not been at their best, has been their performances during game ones in all three rounds thus far.

Yes the Coyotes Game 1 loss verse the the LA Kings in the Western Conference Finals is the first game one loss they have, but in all three rounds, it has been more than apparent that the Coyotes had been out-played in the opening bout of a series.

“I don’t know if it is nerves or jitters but every game gets more and more important,” explained Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle. “We just got to hope we get rid of all that stuff, play game two like we can and not think about Game 1.”

“I think Game 1 against Chicago wasn’t our best, game one against Nashville wasn’t our best but we were able to get those games in overtime,” Coyotes forward Radim Vrbata added. “This time they were the better team, they won and we know we have to be better in game two. That’s the bottoms line.”

One statistic that backs up this notion is how severely the Coyotes have been out-shot in the first game of each of their series. They have been out-shot 135 to 85 in those three games.

Dave Tippett acknowledged the shot differential but pointed out that two of those games are skewed because they went into overtime. Tippett has not been all that concerned about the shot discrepancy to this point, but did point out why it was a problem in game one against the Kings.

“I am more concerned with the quality of shots rather than the quantity,” Tippet explained after Coyotes skate on Monday. “But last night there were too many quality shots.”

The Coyotes are now trailing in a series for the first time all postseason and they want to make sure that Game 2 does not bring another postseason first to them. One of those firsts could be back-to-back losses for the first time this postseason. That is a notion the team will seek to avoid with the series then heading to LA.

“They are a confident group right now and they feel like they can win in any building,” said Coyotes captain Shane Doan about the Kings jumping out to an early lead. “I believe they have won six in a row on the road and getting that first goal gave them confidence that they continue to have success.”

Extra Coyotes notes from Monday: The team practiced for a little over a half hour on the ice after taking part in an extra long film session. Adrian Aucoin was on the ice during their skate around and took part in team activities for the first time since Game 5 of the Nashville series.

Game 2 is Tuesday night at 6 p.m. from Arena.

For more on the Coyotes follow Jared Cohen on Twitter at @JaredPros2Preps.

A born and bred Arizonan, Jared has had great passion for the hometown teams all his life. He now channel's that passion into covering the pro, college and high school teams around the state as a Multimedia Reporter for Sports360AZ.