Los Angeles climbs back into NHL playoff series with important game three win.
Jonathan Quick made 19 saves and the defending National Hockey League champion Los Angeles Kings defeated Chicago 3-1 on Tuesday, trimming the Blackhawks’ lead in their playoff series to 2-1.
The Kings will try to equalize the best-of-seven Western Conference final at two wins each by capturing game four on Thursday before the series shifts back to Chicago. The winner plays either Boston or Pittsburgh for the Stanley Cup.
Justin Williams opened the scoring for the Kings 3:21 into game and Slava Voynov gave Los Angeles a 2-0 edge just 6:37 into the second period.
But Chicago’s Bryan Bickell slid a wrap-around goal past Quick with only 34 seconds remaining in the second period to pull the Blackhawks within one goal entering the final period.
The visitors could not solve Quick again, however, and Dwight King scored the clincher for the Kings into an empty net with 28 seconds remaining after the Blackhawks had pulled goaltender Corey Crawford for an extra attacker.
The Kings were in danger of falling behind 3-0 after dropping the first two games in Chicago, but Williams said the team was relaxed despite the importance of a victory.
“I don’t think we were too uptight at all. We knew what we had to do,” said Williams. “W created pressure, created (15) turnovers and didn’t allow them transition in the neutral zone, which they like.
“We had more time in the offensive zone and we were able to do more things.”
The Kings improved to 8-0 at home in the playoffs with Quick’s third home shutout of the playoffs.
“We had to worry about tonight not what happened before,” Kings defenseman Matt Greene said. “The goals will come. They may be ugly and we’ll be grinding but they will come.
“Now we have got to get another win. We have got to go back to their building even.”
A physical contest was punctuated when Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith struck the Kings’ Jeff Carter in the face with a one-handed high stick swing, opening a cut on Carter’s chin and drawing four minutes in the penalty box.
“It was an accident,” Keith said. “I wanted to give him a tap. I feel bad where I got him. I’m glad he came back.”