Previewing the Los Angeles Kings’ 2012-13 season:
West Quarter Final, Game 5 @ St. Louis; May 8/13, 6pm PST (9pm EST)
When the Los Angeles Kings last left St. Louis’s Scottrade Center last Thursday, they were deflated. After losing Game 1 in heartbreaking fashion, the Kings surrendered a 1-0 lead in the third period of Game 2 including the game-winner in the final minute to fall behind 2-0 in their series with the Blues. But since then, things have changed.
Despite a 1-0 win in Game 3 in Los Angeles, the Kings knew they weren’t in the same comfort zone they were this time last year. They may have only allowed four goals in the first three games of the series, the scored just three times and while their goaltending and defensive work was appreciated, the offense still lacked. Then came Game 4.
After a combined seven goals in the first three games, seven goals were tallied in Game 4 alone on a night when the Kings and their backs against the wall right from the get-go. Down 2-0 in the first five minutes, the Kings tied, surrendered another goal and scored twice in the third to win stealing the momentum right away from the Blues – which brings us to Game 5 tonight.
After the Kings found an offensive stride in Game 4, they hope that will continue in Game 5 although the Blues are 17-8-1 on home ice this season including the first two games of this series. The Kings may not be as dominant on the road as they have been at Staples Center so far this year but if the last two games were any indication, some road dominance may be just what the doctor ordered entering Wednesday night as the Kings look to break the unbeaten streak of the home team in this series.
Both Brian Elliott and Jonathan Quick continue to shine for their respective clubs in goal. TJ Oshie is a force for the Blues having scored twice on Monday night so if the Kings hope to take the series lead, they will need to slow down St. Louis’s Number 74. But the Kings aren’t exactly depleted up front either. Jeff Carter, Anze Kopitar, Dustin Penner all broke out of their scoring slumps and Justin Williams scored en route to the Los Angeles win on Monday and hopefully this is a sign of things to come – but either way, the Blues will need to contain these guys should they hope to regain the upper hand.
What looked to be a lost cause last week is now an exciting best-of-three series with no shortage of physicality from both sides. It continues tonight in the Gateway City as both teams look to take control of this heated rivalry.
Enjoy the game!