Category Archives: Game Recaps

Road Warriors: Game 5 Watch Party This Saturday!

ROAD WARRIORS

Bartendress at The Lazy Dog CafeWe have had a lot of luck with our watch parties, dating all the way back to 2007. This postseason, we’ve had watch parties for all away games, and the Kings are UNDEFEATED. Coincidence? Nope.

We’re heading back to our new favorite spot, The Lazy Dog Cafe. Rich, the manager, is anxious to bring back The Black and White Battalion back to Cerritos. And he’s been gracious enough to extend Happy Hour to all Kings fans representing the boys.

“What type of food do they serve there?” is the top question I got before the last party. And it’s safe to say Lazy Dog defies definition. For example: ever had some loaded potato hushpuppies? How about Togarashi edamame? Or wok-fried calamari?

Too exotic? O.K., try a brick oven pretzel, some buffalo chicken nuggets or sweet potato tater tots. The cajun fries are a personal favorite, and for $3, one of the best bargains.

Lazy Dog Cafe's cajun fries and lettuce cups. Nom nom nom.Still sounds too adventurous? No worries. Get a late night burger, chicken tenders or a personal pizza. And it’s all reduced prices! Nothing on the happy menu is over $6! Load up and pig out as the Kings wail on Vancouver. Check out the whole menu right here. Plus, Newcastle on tap, which is my current choice of beer.

Parking is also a concern, since there’s a ton of restaurants at the Cerritos Center. Rich told me the best place to park is on the north end of the mall, behind Nordstrom and next to Sears. You’ll have to walk a bit, but it’s better than trying to wait for people leaving the mall for a spot. Plus, it’ll allow you some sobering-up time after the game. (PLEASE DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE, DUMMIES.)

So, I hope to see as many Kings fans as we had last time. The Kings have the attention of the league now. Let’s watch them silence the crowd at New Jersey stun the hockey world.

Hockeywood Tonight: Game 3 Previews

Hockeywood Tonight

Daryl Evans and LA Kings Insider Rich Hammond break down game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final between LA and New Jersey from Staples Center.

Jeff Carter and Mike Richards sit down with Steve Mears before game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Los Angeles Kings players speak to the media prior to their game 3 match-up between the New Jersey Devils.

Los Angeles Kings players speak to the media prior to their game 3 match-up between the New Jersey Devils.

Colin Fraser of the Kings spoke with the media before game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on 6/4/12.

Anze Kopitar of the Kings spoke with the media before game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on 6/4/12.

Dustin Brown of the Kings spoke with the media before game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on 6/4/12.

Willie Mitchell of the Kings spoke with the media before game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on 6/4/12.

Jarret Stoll of the Kings spoke with the media before game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on 6/4/12.

Coach Sutter of the Kings spoke with the media before game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on 6/4/12.

WCF Game 5: Kings finally reach Stanley Cup Finals. Finally!

The Kings celebrate following Dustin Penner's winning goal in overtime during Tuesday's playoff game against the Phoenix Coyotes. (Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)

Kings forward Dustin Penner, bottom right, celebrates immediately after scoring the winning goal past Phoenix goalie Mike Smith during the Kings' 4-3 overtime victory Tuesday. (Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)
Game 5: Kings 4, Coyotes 3 (OT)

To peep out all the videos online about this game, check out today’s Hockeywood Dailies. To see what they said, check out They Said It

• AP: Kings finish off Coyotes in OT, advance to Stanley Cup finals


The Kings knocked off No. 1 Vancouver, the Presidents’ Trophy winner, No. 2 St. Louis and rounded it out with a five-game win over the No. 3 Coyotes in the conference finals to become the second No. 8 seed — along with Edmonton in 2006 — to reach the Stanley Cup finals.

• LA Times’ Helene Elliott: Kings never lost magic touch on road to Cup finals


What they couldn’t accomplish two decades ago is now within their grasp thanks to a team that might lack superstars but never lacked heart or hope while entering the playoffs as the No. 8-seeded team. The Kings took out the West’s top three seeded teams in 1-2-3 order, held on course by the shrewd coaching of blunt, plain-spoken Darryl Sutter.

• LA Times: Kings find success by thriving in enemy territory


The Kings will open the Stanley Cup finals on the road, either at the New York Rangers or New Jersey Devils. But Brown said the Kings’ success on the road “doesn’t matter at this point. Now it’s about getting up for every game.”

Los Angeles Kings right wing Dustin Brown poses with the Clarence S. Campbell trophy with NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly after winning Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference finals against the Phoenix Coyotes, Tuesday, May 22, 2012, in Glendale, Ariz. The Kings won 4-3 in overtime to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals. (AP Photo/Matt York)• LA Times: Kings take high road to Stanley Cup finals

Yes, the Kings’ long strange journey to the Stanley Cup finals — returning there again for the first time in 19 years — ended with one long thrilling night of hockey and in somewhat surreal fashion.
Weren’t they supposed to be showered with champagne, not debris?

• Orange County Register: Kings win West, advance to Stanley Cup Final


The Kings dominated play in the extra session, and Penner’s goal came on the Kings’ 51st shot of the game, with the puck going over the glove of Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith, who made 47 saves.

• NHL.com: Kings beat Coyotes in OT to advance to Cup Final


Los Angeles became only the second team to knock off the top three seeds in the conference since the League switched to this playoff format. The other was Calgary in 2004. Kings coach Darryl Sutter was behind the bench for that Flames team as well.

• ESPNLA.com: Kings headed to Stanley Cup finals after Game 5 win vs. Phoenix


HOT: The post-game handshake wasn’t as gentlemanly as most. The Coyotes were still heated over Brown’s hit on Rozsival and a few let Brown know they didn’t appreciate the play. The most animated Phoenix player was center Martin Hanzal, who must have forgot he was suspended for Game 3’s loss after a dangerous boarding penalty on Brown in Game 2.

• ESPNLA.com: Kings’ arrival is Lombardi’s work

Nobody dared touch the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl as it was awarded to the Los Angeles Kings following their 4-3 overtime victory Tuesday night against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena, securing the organization’s second trip to the Stanley Cup finals.
Still, the award was undoubtedly covered with Dean Lombardi’s fingerprints.

• Fox Sports West: Post-Gretzky, Kings truly back in spotlight


In a city that has seen titles won by Jerry West and Magic Johnson, by Fernando Valenzuela and Orel Hershiser, by Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, by David Beckham and Reggie Bush and both Lew Alcindor and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, now Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter and most certainly Jonathan Quick will get their chance to have their names remembered in a similar capacity.

WCF Game 4: Coyotes deny Kings’ Western coronation

Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards, below, shoots on Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith during the first period in Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference finals, Sunday, May 20, 2012, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Phoenix Coyotes left wing Ray Whitney, right, tangles with Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov, of Russia, during Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference finals, Sunday, May 20, 2012, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
WCF Game 4: Coyotes 2, Kings 0


To peep out all the videos online about this game, check out today’s Hockeywood Dailies.

• AP: Shane Doan goals, Mike Smith shutout keep Coyotes alive

The Los Angeles Kings’ long-suffering fans gathered downtown shortly after dawn, eager to witness a series sweep and a coronation.
And then Captain Coyote and his goalie crashed the party for a win that suggests this series is far from finished.

• LA Times: Kings are jammed up as Coyotes win, 2-0, to extend series


First, the feared traffic nightmare didn’t materialize Sunday, when cycling and hockey fans minded their transit rules in the morning. Then another doomsday scenario was averted when the Coyotes and goalie Mike Smith cooperated by shutting out the Kings.

• LA Times’ Helene Elliott: Kings aren’t good enough to get job done in Game 4


If success had dulled the Kings’ memory of what it felt like to lose, if eliminating the Vancouver Canucks in five games, sweeping the St. Louis Blues and taking the first three games of the Western Conference finals against the Phoenix Coyotes had made them forget how deeply a defeat can sting, it all came back to them Sunday afternoon.

• LA Times: Kings fans are split on which Coyote to dislike the most


Doan, the Coyotes’ captain, had a first-period power-play goal that gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead, ending the Kings’ penalty killing streak at 30. His wrist shot off a faceoff in the second period ensured that Phoenix fans would get a chance to disparage Brown in at least one more game.

• NHL.com: Coyotes stay alive with 2-0 win


Los Angeles now lead the best-of-seven series three games to one, with Game 5 set for Tuesday night in Glendale, Ariz., at Jobing.com Arena. The Kings had lots of shots, but not lots of quality scoring opportunities beyond the first period.

• Fox Sports West: Power play, net presence absent in Kings’ loss

There may be a few dents in the Los Angeles Kings’ seemingly impenetrable shell, after all.
By dropping a 2-0 decision to the Phoenix Coyotes on Sunday afternoon at Staples Center, the Kings lost for the first time in over a month and showed that home close-out games while nursing a three-games-to-none series lead don’t necessarily bring out the best of their recent playoff abilities.

• ESPNLA.com: Kings: Coyotes stretch lead to 2-0


The bad: The Kings trail, 2-0, for the first time in the postseason. They’ve allowed two consecutive goals for just the second time in the playoffs as well. The other time was in their 3-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks in Game 4 of their first-round series.

Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, left, stops a shot as Phoenix Coyotes left wing Taylor Pyatt watches during the second period of Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference finals in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)They said it


“I think tonight was more about the Phoenix Coyotes playing a good game. They sat back and they are opportunistic and that’s how they’ve done it all year. They’ve been a resilient group all year and they showed that tonight. They executed really well and that’s the bottom line.” – Dustin Brown, on the game.


“Just shooting more and simplify a little more. We have to get some bodies in front of the net and make it tough on Smith.’’ – Anze Kopitar, on how to improve the power play.


“At this level, we’re all professionals, and we get to this point for a reason. When your back is against the wall, that’s when it comes out, the character. They certainly had that tonight. They played well. They fought hard. Smith played well. Certainly, on the other hand, we certainly need to be better.’’ – Justin Williams, on the game.


“They played really well. It’s a good lesson for us. We had got the bounces, for the most part, until tonight. They threw themselves in front of a lot of shots. Their PK was really good and they got a power-play goal. So, they definitely earned this one, and we couldn’t find an answer for Smith.’’ – Dustin Penner, on the game.


“I think Phoenix played really well. They played a good game and came out hard. They got a big power-play goal against us there and they got a big faceoff goal. Smith was awesome tonight. They played well and we can play better. We need to respond better than that.” – Matt Greene, on the game.


“Why, is because we’re not a home-ice team. We’ve had to start every series on the road, and it’s a tough league to get down in a series. It’s like a lead in a game. You want a 1-0 game lead or a 1-0 series lead. That’s the truth.’’ – Darryl Sutter, on why the Kings have had road success.

WCF Game 3: Kings keep clobbering Coyotes, on verge of Finals berth

Goaltender Jonathan Quick #32 of the Los Angeles Kings and Kings players celebrate the 2-1 victory against the Phoenix Coyotes in Game Three of the Western Conference Final during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center on May 17, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Anze Kopitar #11 of the Los Angeles Kings scores a second period goal past goaltender Mike Smith #41 of the Phoenix Coyotes in Game Three of the Western Conference Final during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center on May 17, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)WCF Game 3: Kings 2, Coyotes 1

To peep out all the videos online about this game, check out today’s Hockeywood Dailies.

• AP: Kings on verge of
sweep of Coyotes after Game 3 victory


Quick made 18 saves, and the eighth-seeded Kings improved to 11-1 in an undeniably charmed run through the NHL postseason by a franchise with 44 seasons of frustrating, Cup-free history.

• LA Times: Kings one win way from Stanley Cup finals

They were mere steps away from each other in the giddy, crowded hallway at Staples Center: Tim Leiweke and Bruce McNall.
The present and past nearly collided Thursday night, the bookend faces of a long and winding and often frustrating hockey journey for the Kings’ franchise.

• LA Times’s Helene Elliott: Starting with Dwight King, Darryl Sutter plays to Kings’ strength


Sutter’s decision to put brawny rookie Dwight King with Jarret Stoll and Trevor Lewis on the third line and move the hard-to-motivate Dustin Penner alongside Mike Richards and Jeff Carter on the second line was a stroke of genius.

• LA Times: Kings’ Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams deliver

The Phoenix Coyotes finally had a chance to exhale after taking it in the solar plexus the first two games of the Western Conference finals.
That giddy feeling, and a 1-0 lead, lasted 2 minutes 7 seconds for those counting.

• NHL.com: Kings beat Coyotes 2-1 to take 3-0 series lead


It was Kopitar’s fifth tally of the postseason and the sixth straight game in which he has recorded at least one point. Brown now has 15 points in this year’s playoffs, the most of anyone still playing. He has 10 points in the past seven games.

Dwight King #74 of the Los Angeles Kings is knocked back by Derek Morris #53 of the Phoenix Coyotes in the second period in Game Three of the Western Conference Final during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center on May 17, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)• NHL.com: King, Nolan have formed their own support group


Among the plethora of reasons why the Kings are one win away from the Stanley Cup Final is the play of King and Nolan. Since getting called up together from the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League on Feb. 10, they have injected a youthful spark along with an abundance of size, speed and skill into a team that desperately needed a heaping portion of both.

• NHL.com: Kings’ forecheck is grinding down opponents


Too often, that meant that whichever Phoenix player had the puck — more often than not one of the six defensemen — was left with nothing but poor alternatives. If Phoenix was lucky, the puck at least made it to the neutral zone before it ended up back on the stick of a Kings’ player.

Jarret Stoll #28 and Dwight King #74 of the Los Angeles Kings celebrate after Kings third period goal against the Phoenix Coyotes in Game Three of the Western Conference Final during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center on May 17, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
• NHL.com: Stoll finds his niche on Kings’ dynamic third line


Stoll put his gloved fingerprints all over the game from start to finish. The highlight was his steal from defenseman Michael Stone that led to Dwight King’s game-winning goal early in the third period. Stoll also drew two Phoenix penalties in the first two periods and danced around Daymond Langkow for a shot on goal in the third.

• ESPN.com: Jarret Stoll sacrifices for bigger goal


Stoll has had better offensive years, of course, since he played a top-six role during parts of his NHL career. And while he did play some top-six minutes as a winger this season, he became a rock for the Kings once he permanently took over the No. 3 center job — providing excellent play at both ends of the ice while being a key penalty killer and top faceoff man.

Drew Doughty #8 of the Los Angeles Kings knocks over Shane Doan #19 of the Phoenix Coyotes in the third period in Game Three of the Western Conference Final during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center on May 17, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)• ESPNLA.com: Kings have a habit of not staying down for long


The Kings have answered nearly every goal by the opposition with one of their own, and usually very quickly. They managed that again Thursday night in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals against the Phoenix Coyotes, tying the score just 2 minutes, 7 seconds after the Coyotes had taken their first lead of the series.

• Fox Sports West: King-sized emergence lifting Los Angeles


A towering presence along the boards and around the opposing net, King offered a snapshot of his multifaceted ability when, on a delayed penalty early in the third period, he scooped up a puck deep in the corner before circling around unmarked to the right faceoff dot, where he beat Mike Smith up high, glove side, with a lethal wristshot. The play seemed to distance itself from the close-range, net-crashing tallies he had offered during the second half of the regular season and the prior 11 playoff games.

WCF Game 2: Coyotes can’t keep up with Quick, Carter, Kings

Goaltender Jonathan Quick #32 of the Los Angeles Kings defends his net as teammate Slave Voynov #26 defends Martin Hanzal #11 of the Phoenix Coyotes in the second period of Game Two of the Western Conference Final during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Jobing.com Arena on May 15, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Kings' Jeff Carter (77) celebrates his third goal of the game against the Phoenix Coyotes with Drew Doughty (8) in the third period during Game 2 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference finals, Tuesday, May 15, 2012, in Glendale, Ariz. The Kings won 4-0. ><span style=Game 3: Kings 4, Coyotes 0

• To peep out all the videos online about this game, check out today’s Hockeywood Dailies.

• AP: Kings up 2-0 after Jeff Carter’s hat trick, Jonathan Quick’s shutout


The Kings shook off the big hits — a couple that led to game misconducts — and continued a can’t-stop-us roll that started with a playoff push the last month of the regular season.

• LA Times: Kings don’t miss a trick in rolling to 2-0 series lead


The Kings’ dormant power play stirred to life, as did forward Jeff Carter, and the Phoenix Coyotes picked the second game of the Western Conference finals to look like they had spent too much time in the midday sun.

• LA Times’ Helene Elliott: Coyotes might have lost more than Game 2


As the sun and the Phoenix Coyotes sank slowly in the West, the key question after the Kings’ 4-0 conference finals victory Tuesday was whether the NHL, which has operated the Coyotes franchise for three years, will suspend one or more of its players for the frustration-driven fouls they committed.

• LA Times: Kings are showing their youth and talent in postseason run


Only three Kings who have played in the postseason are 30 or older. Of the 20 players in uniform Tuesday, only two were free agents, while 11 were Kings draft picks, eight of which were drafted since Lombardi was hired.

• NHL.com: Kings crush Coyotes 4-0 for 2-0 series lead


They have won seven straight road games in these playoffs, tying a record last matched by the 2010 Chicago Blackhawks. Their 7-0 road record to start the playoffs ties a record set by the 1999 Colorado Avalanche. They’ve won nine straight on the road dating back to last spring. That ties the record for most road wins spanning consecutive postseasons, previously done by the Islanders in 1982 and 1983.

• NHL.com: Coyotes lose their composure in 4-0 loss


“It’s a dangerous place, but (Lewis) can’t put himself in that position, either,” Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. “I’m not saying it was a good hit, but any player in that position and a guy is beside you and then he turns his back to you … you can’t stop. That’s the way I saw that one.”

• Fox Sports West: Carter’s big game keeps Kings rolling

In recording the club’s first postseason hat trick since Wayne Gretzky’s unforgettable performance against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 7 of the 1993 Campbell Conference Finals, his efforts lifted the Kings to their third consecutive 2-0 series lead in advance of heading back to Staples Center for Game 3.

• ESPNLA: Kings set club record with seventh straight road playoff win


Over the long haul, Kings goalie Jonathan Quick might have edged ahead of teammate Dustin Brown as the front-runner for the Conn Smythe Trophy. Quick stopped 24 shots for his second shutout of the postseason. He has allowed 16 goals in 11 playoff games and stopped 309 of 325 shots for a sizzling .951 save percentage. He has allowed more than two goals in a game only once in the playoffs, a Game 4 loss against the Vancouver Canucks in the opening round, L.A.’s only playoff defeat of 2012.

Los Angeles Kings' Trevor Lewis (22) leaves the ice with a bloody nose after being boarded by Phoenix Coyotes' Shane Doan as Kings' Slava Voynov (26) and Coyotes' Rostislav Klesla, of the Czech Republic, bottom right, looks at the gloves and sticks on the ice in the second period during Game 2 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference finals, Tuesday, May 15, 2012, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)They said it


“You’re obviously thinking about it. It’s always in the back of your mind. I tried to keep patient and keep working in practice, like I said, during the games trying to get to the net, trying to get a couple good bounces there. Lucky enough to get a couple today. It’s a good start.” – Jeff Carter, on whether his confidence ever sagged.


“You know what, that’s part of the game, time of the year. There’s going to be some chippy stuff going on. It’s going to happen both ways. It’s just part of the game. I don’t think we got under their skin or anything like that. These guys won two rounds. You don’t win two rounds this time of year being able to get rattled easily. We know what to expect here coming into Game 3. We know they’re going to bring their best. That’s all we’re looking at right now.” – Jonathan Quick, on the chippy play


“We were playing within the whistles. They took a few penalties after the whistles. and tonight we were able to capitalize on the power play. Other than that, it was just staying aggressive and not sit back. They have some very skilled forwards that can make you pay at any time, if you sit back and give them time and space. So, I think the biggest part is staying aggressive and keep getting after them.’’ – Anze Kopitar, on the key to managing the game, with all the penalties


“I’ve probably been in dirtier games. The intensity out there, combined with the fact that we’re in the Western Conference Finals, there were some hits out there that weren’t good, but there were guys playing hard and we capitalized on some of the opportunities we had.’’ – Dustin Brown, on whether this was the dirtiest game he’s been in.


“I know you will probably will want to roll your eyes when I say this, but we haven’t played our best game yet. That’s the mentality you want to have in the playoffs, is that you’re never satisfied. You can always be better, and you have to have that mentality, where you want to keep on improving until you’ve finally finished, until you have reached your goal.’’ – Dustin Penner, on being up 2-0 in the series.


“That was key, obviously with some of the penalties here and there, and our power play played good for us, and the penalty kill again. The ups and downs, we managed them really well tonight and came out with a win.’’ – Dwight King, on maintaining composure, despite all the penalties.


“I don’t think so. I’m sure they were a little bit frustrated. They had some good chances tonight. I thought Quickie was on top of his game when we needed him. The rest of the time, I thought we played pretty well defensively. Some of the guys you’re looking at aren’t usually dirty players. So, I don’t really think it’s a case of them trying to do anything. I just think they were trying to get themselves going a little bit, that’s all.’’ – Rob Scuderi, on whether this was a dirty game.


“Well, I didn’t think tonight we were especially great. I thought we were better the first game than we were tonight. I think tonight we wanted to get through that first period because we knew it was going to be important for them. I think we scored the deflection goal, then we scored a power-play goal. That was really important for us, I think.” – Darryl Sutter, on his team’s confidence.

WCF Game 1: Kings continue road mastery, grab another Game One win

Los Angeles Kings' Dwight King (74) celebrates his goal against the Phoenix Coyotes with teammate Mike Richards (10) during the second period of Game 1 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference finals, Sunday, May 13, 2012, in Glendale, Ariz.(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Goaltender Jonathan Quick #32 of the Los Angeles Kings makes a save in Game One of the Western Conference Finals against the Phoenix Coyotes during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Jobing.com Arena on May 13, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)• To peep out all the videos online about this game, check out today’s Hockeywood Dailies.

• AP: Dwight King nets 2 to lead Kings past Coyotes in Game 1

Los Angeles gave up a goal from the center line, another tying goal on a miscommunication.
The way the Kings dominated the rest of the game, not to mention how they’ve played on the road in the playoffs, those two slipups certainly weren’t going to derail their bid to take home-ice advantage from the Phoenix Coyotes.

• LA Times: Kings give Coyotes a winning view of their road show


The Kings captain had a first-period assist and then scored the game-winning goal 2 minutes and 11 seconds into the third period in a 4-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Sunday at Jobing.com Arena in the Western Conference final opener.. It was the Kings’ sixth road victory during these Stanley Cup playoffs and eighth in a row dating to last postseason.

• LA Times: Brown keeps Los Angeles Kings sizzling in 4-2 win over Coyotes


The Coyotes did not have a shot on goal until nearly seven minutes into the game, and the first one was remarkably unthreatening. That, and a week off between games, may have cut into Quick’s usual alertness, and a highlight gaffe was born a few minutes later.

Slava Voynov #26, Anze Kopitar #11 and Dustin Brown #23 of the Los Angeles Kings celebrate Brown's goal in the third period against the Phoenix Coyotes in Game One of the Western Conference Finals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Jobing.com Arena on May 13, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)• LA Times Helene Elliott: Quick remains good despite bad goal

Even though Quick was involved in a mix-up with his defensemen on Phoenix’s second goal, which tied the score again, he sent the ghosts of the Kings’ ghastly goaltending back to their coffins.
Quick held firm in the third period, repelling a late push by the Coyotes to secure the 4-2 victory that moved the Kings to within three wins of a berth in the Stanley Cup finals.

• ESPN.com: Two for the road help Kings

Eyebrows were raised when the Los Angeles Kings traded young, puck-moving, top-four defenseman Jack Johnson in late February.
Not in the Kings’ front office.
Because they had known for a long time they had his replacement in their organization, a player they felt would be just as good, if not better, once he filled Johnson’s skates.

• NHL.com: Kings take Game 1 with 4-2 win

Even a week off couldn’t cool the red-hot Los Angeles Kings. They’re three wins away from the Stanley Cup Final.
The Kings came out strong with a relentless forecheck that continued throughout the game.

• NHL.com: Kings continue to shine on the road


The Kings killed off five more power plays Sunday night and allowed only four shots on goal along the way. Los Angeles has now denied 24 consecutive man advantages, dating back to its opening-round series victory against the top-seeded Vancouver Canucks. The Kings followed that up by going 24-for-24 on the PK against the No. 2 St. Louis Blues.

• ESPNLA.com: Kings roll over Phoenix in West final opener


HOT: The Kings were on fire from the start, outshooting the Coyotes, 17-4, in the opening 20 minutes. They finished with a 48-27 edge in shots on net, taking 90 shots in all. Phoenix managed to block 25, so the Coyotes will certainly have a few black-and-blue marks come Monday. Defensively, the Kings wiped out all five power plays by the Coyotes, giving them 24 straight kills in these playoffs.

• Fox Sports West: Poised Kings continue playoff streak


Previous Kings teams could have wilted under the weight such a discouraging goal, especially in a period in which they outshot the Coyotes 17-4. But under Darryl Sutter, every member of the roster is showing such a bought-in focus that even in the midst of the howls elicited by the game-tying goals and with the crowd still on its feet, every single player on Los Angeles’ bench expected the outcome that they eventually earned.

WCSF Game 4: Kings complete sweep of Blues, advance to conference finals

Rob Scuderi #7 and Jonathan Quick #32 of the Los Angeles Kings celebrate a 3-1 win and a 4-0 game sweep of the St. Louis Blues in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center on May 6, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Jonathan Quick #32 of the Los Angeles Kings reacts to a goal by Dustin Brown #23 for a 3-1 lead during the last minute of the third period in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center on May 6, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Game 4: Kings 3, Blues 1

To peep out all the videos online about this game, check out today’s Hockeywood Dailies.

• AP: Kings oust Blues in sweep as magical run reaches West finals


Eternal also-rans since joining the NHL nearly 45 years ago, the Kings are going deep in this postseason — and the best of the West hasn’t slowed them down yet.

• LA Times: Kings sweep their way into Western Conference finals

That break between Kings appearances in the final four of the Stanley Cup playoffs lasted a lot longer than anyone ever intended, anticipated or dreamed possible.
Nineteen years, in fact.

• LA Times’ Helene Elliott: Good times roll for Brown, Kopitar


Brown, who made his NHL debut during the 2003-04 season, and Kopitar, who made an immediate impact as a rookie in 2006-07, have been there for all the broken promises and unrealized dreams, through coaching changes and baffling lineup shuffles. They allowed their optimism to flower when things changed for the better and persevered when the young team sometimes took two steps back for every three steps forward.

• NHL.com: Kings complete sweep with 3-1 win

It is far too early to discuss who the top contenders for the Conn Smythe Trophy are, but there are clearly two strong candidacies developing in this city.
Captain Dustin Brown scored twice — a wicked snipe for the game-winner and an empty-netter for the series-clincher — and goaltender Jonathan Quick made 23 saves as the Los Angeles Kings completed a sweep of the St. Louis Blues with a 3-1 victory Sunday afternoon at Staples Center to advance to the conference finals for the first time in 19 years.

• NHL.com: Quick comes up big again for Kings


Quick was his usual modest self after L.A. completed an impressive sweep of the Blues to advance to the conference finals for the second time in franchise history and first time since 1993. Quick was required to hold the fort under heavy duress. St. Louis outshot L.A., 13-2, in the second period and 24-19 for the game. It was just another day at the office for the young goalie.

• NHL.com: Kings await next opponent

Los Angeles experienced success against both Phoenix and Nashville during the regular season. The Kings went 3-1-2 against the Coyotes — a Pacific Division rival — and shut them out twice. They also won three of four matchups against the Predators.
Regardless of opponent, the Kings will not have home-ice advantage. Phoenix won the Pacific and earned the No. 3 seed, while Nashville racked up 104 points and finished fourth.

• ESPNLA.com: Tandem save preserves lead, empty-netter clinches series

These weren’t just momentum changers, they were game savers.
Two plays that may stand out long after this postseason ends were the tandem save by Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar and goalkeeper Jonathan Quick midway through the final period Sunday afternoon, and the empty-net goal by Dustin Brown in the closing seconds of Game 4, allowing the Kings to complete the sweep of the Western Conference semifinal with a 3-1 victory against the St. Louis Blues at Staples Center.

• Fox Sports West: Kings’ sweep of Blues was awfully Quick


Though the national and Canadian media and more casual hockey fans have leapt onto the eighth-seeded Los Angeles Kings’ bandwagon during their shockingly short dispatches of Vancouver and St. Louis, don’t expect Dustin Brown to remove the team’s blinders

WCSF Game 3: Kings on verge of becoming the Legion of Broom

Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, left, celebrates with teammate Mike Richards after scoring during the third period of Thursday's playoff game against the St. Louis Blues.  Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards, right, scores on St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliott during the second period in Game 3 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series, Thursday, May 3, 2012, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Game 3: Kings 4, Blues 2

• To peep out all the videos online about this game, check out today’s Hockeywood Dailies.

• AP: Kings shut down Blues, take commanding 3-0 series lead

When captain Dustin Brown crunched Alex Pietrangelo with a hit along the boards in the opening minutes, the Los Angeles Kings knew they hadn’t lost whatever fire has driven them deep into the playoffs.

• LA Times: Kings one win from conference finals

Finally, the names Wayne Gretzky, Luc Robitaille and Kelly Hrudey are on the verge of having some long-awaited company, some fresh names in the Kings’ playoff ledger.
How about Mike Richards, Dustin Brown and Jonathan Quick, to name a few?

• LA Times: Elliott: Kings’ Game 3 victory over Blues rewards fans


To a franchise whose crowning postseason moments are so rare and so old they’re classified as ancient relics, the Kings’ 4-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday was a defining moment, a performance so cohesive and impressive that it would be held up as a new standard if it weren’t like so many other exemplary efforts the Kings have mustered this spring.

• LAKings.com: The Key Three: May 3


ANOTHER SPECIAL-TEAMS WIN: The Kings got a power-play goal. Tough to believe, yes, but it’s true. More importantly, they once again won the special-teams battle, this time through more conventional means. There were no shorthanded goals for the Kings, but they did score a power-play goal and went 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.

• NHL.com: Kings top Blues 4-2, lead series 3-0


If the Los Angeles Kings weren’t already being seen as a potential Stanley Cup Playoffs monster, they practically grew another head Thursday night.

• Fox Sports West: Richards, Doughty highlight Kings’ leadership


By virtue of their responses and cutthroat instinct that were on display in a 4-2 win Thursday night at Staples Center, their confidence and command of the play against some of the NHL’s elite is reminiscent of some of the Los Angeles Lakers’ signature performances during the more dynastic moments of the previous decade.

• ESPNLA.com: When push comes to shove, L.A. knows how to respond


Brown drew the first three minor penalties on the Blues, all retaliatory after he had laid a legal hit on one of the St. Louis players. Brown never forcefully reacted to the penalties, allowing the Kings to have the man advantage.

• ESPNLA.com: Kings find success in road mentality


The Kings had already done their best to make sure they would be on the road as much as possible this postseason, having lost their last two games of the regular season to finish as the No. 8 seed. Perhaps the Kings could have gone a step further, and put a call into NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and suggested they play all their playoff games on the road. After all, there is no shortage of games going on at Staples Center these days with the Lakers, Clippers and Kings in the postseason together for the first time since 1993.

Kings center Mike Richards, right, fights St. Louis right wing Jamie Langenbrunner during the first period of Thursday's playoff game. Harry How / Getty ImagesThey said it

“I don’t know. I think it’s my first one. I think the intensity carried
over from the last game a little bit, and we wanted to carry over with a
good start, and they did too. Things happen in games, and we got some
lucky bounces tonight that allowed us to win, and Quickie made some big
saves. I think we did a good job in the third period of shutting it
down.’’ – Mike Richards, on his Gordie Howe Hat Trick.

“We feel great in here. We’re confident that we have a really good team in here, all the forwards, all the goalies, all the D. At the same time, we can’t get too high on ourselves. It’s three-nothing right now, but the fourth game is going to be the hardest, to close out, and we’ve got to make sure it’s our best game of the series, and it’s going to be the toughest one to win.’’ – Drew Doughty, on the Kings’ confidence level right now.

“We did a great job of playing whistle to whistle, not getting involved in that (after-the-play) stuff. We don’t need to get involved in that stuff. If they do, that’s fine. It seemed like they got some penalties tonight and we got a huge power-play goal from Richards. We got that big goal, timely saves from Quick, and we shut them down in the third.” – Jarret Stoll, on the game.


“We’re not going to be a team that is going to be winning games just with one line scoring. We got to have contributions from everyone and sometimes it’s Quick making a big save, sometimes it’s our defense making a big block, but tonight we got big games from some of our top guys.” – Dustin Brown, on the game.

“Things are going well because we’re working hard right now. Guys are paying the price, doing every little thing that’s important at playoff time. That includes boxing out, letting the goalie see pucks, not letting second opportunities get in and, obviously special teams again.” – Justin Williams, on the game.


“I don’t think you get to this point by panicking, that’s for sure. I think you’ve got to score big goals. It’s simple. You can manage it however you want, but hey, Mike Richards, that’s a big power-play goal too.’’ – Darryl Sutter, on not panicking.

WCSF Game 2: Kings can’t be stopped, only contained in Game 2

Anze Kopitar #11 of the Los Angeles Kings scores a goal against Brian Elliott #1 of the St. Louis Blues in Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Scottrade Center on April 30, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Goalie Jonathan Quick #32 of the Los Angeles Kings makes a save with his face in Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals against the St. Louis Blues during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scottrade Center on April 30, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Mark Buckner/NHLI via Getty Images)
Game 2: Kings 5, Blues 2


• To peep out all the videos online about this game, check out today’s Hockeywood Dailies.

• AP: Kings blitz Blues with 4-goal first period, take 2-0 series lead


The road has been an extended highlight reel for the Los Angeles Kings in the playoffs. A breakthrough regular season doesn’t mean much right now for the St. Louis Blues.

• LA Times: Kings take 2-0 lead in series with 5-2 victory over the Blues


Leading the way for the Kings were captain Dustin Brown and center Anze Kopitar, who combined for five points. Kopitar scored twice, including a dazzling short-handed goal at 14:16 of the first period to make it 2-0. Brown had three assists, including one on the short-handed effort, and he has been involved in all four of the Kings’ short-handed goals in this playoff run.

• LA Times: Elliott: Suddenly, the Kings can’t be stopped


The team that ranked next to last in scoring this season, the same players who generated four goals in a game only twice in a dark December that began and ended with different coaches behind their bench, shredded the NHL’s best defensive team Monday and drove the league’s stingiest goaltender to slam his stick against the post in frustration.

• ESPN: LeBrun: Kings look ready to play in June

Question: Did the Los Angeles Kings drop to eighth in the West on the final weekend of the regular season in order to guarantee road-ice advantage?
We jest, of course, but make it a perfect 5-0 away from Staples Center for the Kings this spring, a record run up against the top two seeds in the Western Conference, no less.
Just call them Road Warriors.

• ESPNLA.com: First-period barrage lifts L.A. to 2-0 series lead


Whether a veteran teammate on the Kings grabbed the rookie winger by the collar and reminded him to stand up for himself at some point is unknown, but the fact that (Dwight) King didn’t shy away from Crombeen’s second invitation should have drawn some inspiration on the bench.

• FoxSportsWest.com: Recipe for road success? Try a little defense


It was also the Kings’ seventh straight playoff road win, dating back to Games 2 and 5 in San Jose last April. Los Angeles is 5-0 on the road in the 2012 postseason, obviously a major foundation of what is beginning to resemble something special for a team that has only made it past the second round of the playoffs once since entering the NHL in the 1967-68 season.

• NHL.com: Kings take 2-0 series lead with 5-2 win


Feeling like they would get a desperate team on their home ice, the Kings decided to turn the tides on the Blues, and for only the third time in franchise history — including twice in consecutive series this season — the Kings head home with a 2-0 series edge.

Dustin Penner #25 and Anze Kopitar #11 both of the Los Angeles Kings mix it up with David Backes #42 of the St. Louis Blues in Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Scottrade Center on April 30, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)They said it


“He’s been probably one of our best players or, other than Quicker, probably our best player all year. When it comes to PK stuff, me and Kopi and PK’d now for five or six years. It’s just instinct for us now, when we get out there and find each other.’’ – Dustin Brown, on Anze Kopitar’s game.


“We could be better on that, as far as not giving them those opportunities. That’s something we need to improve on. Even on the kill, they’re creating some stuff there that we can take away. Myself, my reads that I’m making, there’s still room for improvement.’’ – Jonathan Quick, on the Kings’ penalty killing.


“He’s playing well. He’s been playing well for a while now. He’s starting to get the bounces. He got a nice bounce in Vancouver and a nice bounce the other night to score the empty-netter. But he’s earning his bounces. He’s working hard for them. He’s getting in the right spots and he’s a big body. He’s hard to move.’’ – Mike Richards, on Dustin Penner’s recent play.


“Well, I know there’s a lot of good players on our team. It’s hard, getting them to play all together at the same time. You know, I just look at is as, we’re in a series. I don’t look at an overview like that. We came here and we had a tough first period in the last game, and we had a good second and third. Tonight, we had an awesome first, and I don’t think we played well after that. So, we’ve got some work to do here, and get ready again.’’ – Darryl Sutter, on if this was what he envisioned when he took over, with the team reaching its potential.