Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 5/16/12
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- In the Stanley Cup Playoffs, secondary scoring will only take a team so far. It got the Coyotes past a Chicago Blackhawks team with no depth and a shaky goaltender in the first round. Then it carried them past a Nashville team that couldn't establish its style and dealt with the distraction of two suspended stars. But here, in the Western Conference Final against the hottest team in the postseason, the Coyotes need their stars to be stars. They haven't been, as chief offensive threats Radim Vrbata and Ray Whitney have been virtually invisible while the Los Angeles Kings grabbed a 2-0 series lead Tuesday night. "We need everybody to give a little more," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said after his team's 4-0 loss. "Those guys aren't excluded from that, obviously." Vrbata and Whitney were as invisible after Tuesday's loss as they have been on the ice in Games 1 and 2. Martin Hanzal was also absent after being ejected from Tuesday's game for misconduct -- leaving defenseman, third-line forwards and a brutally honest goaltender Mike Smith to answer for the Coyotes' woes Tuesday night. "If we had converted whatever opportunities (we had), maybe it would have been a different game," said Taylor Pyatt, who moved up to the Hanzal-Vrbata line in a pre-game shake-up designed to invigorate the attack. "I thought we had some stretches where we were a little bit better this game. We had some pressure in the offensive zone, some good opportunities. We've just got to find some positives if we can and go from there." The normally productive Hanzal-Vrbata-Whitney line, after being slowed by injuries in the Chicago series, combined for nine points in the first two games against Nashville but has been mostly quiet since. Tippett said Tuesday that the Coyotes have been unable to capitalize on the opportunities presented to them by the Kings. "When you're looking to make those opportunities count, our margin for error is very slim," Tippett said. "That's the difference in where we are now compared to Nashville. The (opportunities) went in (against) Nashville, and here we haven't been able to bury them." For the Coyotes to climb out a 2-0 hole -- with the next two games on the road -- they will have to take advantage of just about every opportunity they get. That will likely have to start with Vrbata and Whitney, the guys paid to put the puck in the net. Tippett believed his team was better in stretches Tuesday than it was in Game 1 on Sunday. He saw things he thinks the Coyotes can build on for Game 3 on Thursday. "I think in Game 1, if you look back, we were a team (that wasnt) sure how it was going to," Tippett said. "It took us a while to figure out that the bar goes up every round."
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