Los Angeles beats Chicago
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
LOS ANGELES — Slava Voynov had a goal and an assist, Jonathan Quick made 19 saves, and the Los Angeles Kings beat Chicago 3-1 in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals Tuesday night, trimming the Blackhawks’ series lead to 2-1.
Justin Williams also scored and Dwight King added an empty-net goal in the defending Stanley Cup champions’ 15th consecutive home victory since March. The Kings have won eight straight home playoff games, dating to last season’s title clincher, and they never trailed while ending the top-seeded Blackhawks’ five-game postseason winning streak.
Game 4 is Thursday night.
Bryan Bickell scored and Corey Crawford stopped 25 shots for the Blackhawks, who chased Quick from Game 2 and earned back-to-back home victories to open the series last weekend.
The Kings had lost five of their previous seven playoff games before getting back to friendly Staples Center and their sellout crowd. Quick also returned to Conn Smythe Trophy form in Game 3, highlighted by a dazzling late save on Bickell, while his low-scoring teammates generated just enough offense to hold off the Blackhawks, who hadn’t lost since Game 4 of the second round.
Jeff Carter had two assists during an inspired effort despite the absence of injured linemate Mike Richards, and Voynov had his fourth multipoint game in a prolific postseason.
The Blackhawks matched their playoff low with just 20 shots, but the Presidents’ Trophy winners were one good bounce away from tying the score in the final minutes.
Brandon Saad nearly had an open net after a cross-ice pass from Viktor Stalberg with 5 minutes left, but couldn’t collect the puck. Moments later, Keith missed a near-breakaway at the Kings’ blue line when Chicago went offside — and Quick set off a frenzy in the crowd when he improbably stopped Bickell’s fine chance late.
The Kings played their second straight game without Richards, their leading postseason scorer heading into Game 3. The veteran center has an apparent concussion after a big hit from Dave Bolland in the series opener.
Richards’ absence opened a lineup spot for promising rookie Tyler Toffoli, who has three points in the last two games. The 21-year-old AHL rookie of the year got the primary assist on Voynov’s goal.
After the Kings scored just 11 goals in their last seven games, coach Darryl Sutter shook up his lines while facing the prospect of a three-game deficit in the conference finals. Slumping center Anze Kopitar, who might be playing with an injury, was moved back to the third line, while Jarret Stoll moved up to the Kings’ nominal top line.
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