Western Quarter Final, Game 3: Kings Win 1-0, STL leads series 2-1
LOS ANGELES – There was no offensive explosion but their one goal was enough as the Los Angeles Kings shut out the St. Louis Blues, taking Game 3 to get back into this series.
Perhaps it was the home-ice advantage, maybe it was Jonathan Quick’s stellar play in goal or it could have even been Justin Williams’ tireless efforts to preserve his team’s one-goal lead but whichever way you look at it, the Kings win tonight was a collective team effort and they should be commended for the amount of hard work they put in to their victory.
So far in these playoffs, only one series has to see a team hold a two-goal lead and that distinction belongs to the Blues and Kings who are really turning defense into an art-form if you will. Okay, that might be a little extreme but nevertheless, this series has been a physical one thus far and tonight was no exception as Dustin Penner got in on the action, as did St. Louis’ David Perron who got into a tussle with Jonathan Quick before being run into the net by Drew Doughty who received a double-minor on the play.
It’s been a scrappy series thus far and tonight’s lone goal was a prime example of that as there was an enormous amount of traffic in front of Brian Elliott when the puck came to Slava Voynov who scored his first of the postseason to open the scoring.
Another highlight of this series has been the sound goaltending from each side. Both Jonathan Quick and Brian Elliott made their share of big saves and their efforts lead them to being named the first two stars of tonight’s contest.
Defenseman Alec Martinez saw his first sniff of this year’s postseason tonight as he was put in the lineup to replace a struggling Jordan Nolan. The seven-defensemen system worked wonders for the Kings as you can tell by the final score: 1-0.
A lack of discipline, however, remains an issue for Los Angeles as they were called for another Too Many Men infraction as well as a Colin Fraser minor which occurred far away from the actual play. Luckily the Kings were perfect on the penalty-kill but next game, they may not be so lucky – so there’s no time like the present to address said issue.
For the Kings, there was a lot of good and some bad to come out of tonight’s win but a win is a win and the silver-and-black will gladly take it. With the win, the Kings can now focus on tying the series when these two teams meet again at Staples Center on Monday night.