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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.
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.
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.
• 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.