Previewing the Los Angeles Kings’ 2012-13 season:
West Quarter Final, Game 3 vs. St. Louis; May 4/13, 7pm PST (10pm EST)
The Los Angeles Kings hope that returning home will give them enough firepower to get back into their series with the St. Louis Blues. While they started out with a much better effort in Game 2, the Kings again lost in heartbreaking fashion and at this point, anything will do to pull out a win.
After a lacklustre effort in Game 1, Los Angeles responded with two strong periods in Game 2 only to get outplayed by a stronger St. Louis squad in the third leading to two Blues goals including the game-winner scored by Barret Jackman with just 51 seconds remaining.
Through the first two games, Jonathan Quick has been the Kings’ runaway candidate for MVP as his play has kept his team competitive. Despite a costly mistake to end the first game, Quick has been nothing short of spectacular having stopped 69 of the 73 shots he faced thus far.
While the Kings were able to open the scoring in Game 2, they need a lot more offensive urgency to get back in this series especially with netminder Brian Elliott redeeming himself from last spring’s premature playoff exit. Despite an up-and-down year, Elliott’s been a rock in the St. Louis net so far in this series frustrating the Kings every which way.
Players like Jeff Carter, Anze Kopitar and even Jarret Stoll need to step up their games, rookie Jake Muzzin needs to be more patient with the puck and the other defensemen simply need to be a little better than they have been so far. While it didn’t cost them in Game 2, the Kings need to stop taking undisciplined penalties or better yet, to stay out of the box altogether. Being on the penalty-kill is often as they’ve been is curbing the momentum of the silver-and-black and as I’m sure they’ve discovered by now, they cannot afford to give this Blues team any sort of momentum.
The Kings were a very impressive 19-4-1 at Staples Center during the regular season and they hope that success can carry over into the postseason. If it does, this will be a whole new series. If it doesn’t, well, let’s cross that bridge when, nay if, we come to it.
Enjoy the game!