May 24, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty (8) celebrates in front of the Chicago Blackhawks bench after scoring a goal during the third period in game three of the Western Conference Final of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

LA Kings Claim A Second Comeback Victory Over Chicago, Go Up 2-1 In Series

The Los Angeles Kings continue to dominate in the playoffs as they beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 at Staples Center and go up 2-1 in the series. For the second straight game, the Kings had another comeback victory against the defending Stanley Cup Champions with big efforts from their young players. Those that thought this series would be similar to last year’s Western Conference Finals, are quickly being proven wrong by the Kings.

Nearly five minutes into the game, things looked to be starting off strong for the Kings as Chicago’s Marian Hossa got a penalty for covering the puck. Unfortunately, it was Jonathan Toews who took it as an advantage and pickpocketed Justin Williams just after a face-off. His short-handed break ended with a wrister past Jonathan Quick. Luckily, the Kings were still on the power play and tied it up 30 seconds later. Marian Gaborik was in the high slot when a gap open up through the Chicago defense. His shot went left and bounced off of Slava Voynov and past Corey Crawford for the goal. Just like that, it was tied at one. Chicago broke that with 6:40 left when Toews went to the right of Quick and shot it over the Kings goalie. A bad defensive breakdown allowed the Blackhawks to send several shots at Quick, which directly lead to Chicago’s 2-1 advantage.

In the second, Los Angeles again started slow, but was able to pick up their pace with some energy from their young and hot second line, aka “That 70’s Line”, of Tanner Pearson, Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli. The Kings were putting the pressure on Chicago on a few shifts, which finally paid off eight minutes in when Pearson passed the puck from behind the net to Carter. Number 77 was cutting in front of Crawford undefended and got the puck in the top right corner. Just over six minutes later, Toffoli got the puck on a break and went left to right on Crawford who had no idea where the puck was. It was in the net. Kings up, 3-2 and had momentum in their favor.

The third period had been pretty even until around the 12 minute mark when several good passes resulted in assists for Justin Williams and Jake Muzzin who gave Drew Doughty a shot that put the Kings up 4-2. Chicago managed to score once more when Patrick Sharp defleted in a Nick Leddy shot with 4.2 seconds left, but that was it as the Kings took their second in a row from Chicago to go up a game in the series.

You cannot sleep on these Kings, which seems to be Chicago’s problem right now. The Kings make adjustments and find a way to get the puck in the net. What worked last year, is not working for the Blackhawks this year and that is just fine for LA. As long as Chicago continues to think they have the Kings right where they want them, LA is at a big advantage. The series continues Monday for Game 4 at Staples Center. Go Kings Go.

Mike W.R.

Twitter: @TheBigDisco

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