Category Archives: Game Recaps

WCSF Game 1: Kings snag Game 1 and home ice from Blues

From left, Los Angeles Kings Drew Doughty, Jonathan Quick, Slava Voynov, of Russia, and Matt Greene celebrate after their 3-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of a second-round NHL Stanley Cup hockey playoff series, Saturday, April 28, 2012, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick shoves St. Louis Blues left wing David Perron against the goal after Perron collided with him in the first period of Game 1 in a second-round NHL Stanley Cup hockey playoff series, Saturday, April 28, 2012, in St. Louis. The Kings won 3-1. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Chris Lee)
Game 1: Kings 3, Blues 1

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

• AP: Matt Greene’s short-handed goal lifts Kings on road

Matt Greene scored his first career playoff goal short-handed late in the second period and rookie Slava Voynov also got his first of the playoffs as the Kings beat the St. Louis Blues 3-1 in the opener of a Western Conference semifinal series Saturday night.

• LA Times: Defense answers for Kings in series-opening win

The eighth-seeded Kings have won their last six playoff games on the road, including four from this post-season campaign, three from the Vancouver series and Saturday night’s win at Scotttrade Center against the second-seeded Blues.

• LA Times: Elliott: It’s plodder’s day for Kings’ Matt Greene

Greene himself came up with the best description of his pace in scoring the short-handed goal that launched the Kings to a 3-1 victory over the Blues on Saturday in the opener of their Western Conference semifinal series.
“Lumbered,” he said. “Maybe that’s it.”

• Jonathan Quick, Dustin Penner lead way in Game 1 victory

THE STAT: The Kings have won six consecutive playoff games on the road and are 8-2 away from Staples Center over the past three postseasons. This is the fourth consecutive playoff series in which they’ve taken away home-ice advantage in the first two games.

• Kings effectively sticking to “Sutter’s Law”

Greene’s shorthanded game-winning goal – in which he traveled the length of the ice to chip in a Brown rebound over Brian Elliott’s shoulder – was the second shorthanded goal by a defenseman in Kings playoff history and the first since Rob Blake in 1993.

• Kings’ confidence keeps growing

While St. Louis was flying around them, the Kings’ players repeated the same talking points that have pushed them this far. Keep working hard. Keep finishing checks, and believe at some point it’s going to turn.

• Kings shut down Blues 3-1 in series opener

If not for Quick, the Blues could have run away with the game in the early going. He robbed Andy McDonald twice from point-blank range in the game’s first minute, then kicked out B.J. Crombeen’s backhand effort with 8:18 left in the period to keep it a 1-0 game.

Los Angeles Kings' Matt Greene lifts the puck past St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott for a short-handed goal in the second period of Game 1 in a second-round NHL Stanley Cup hockey playoff series, Saturday, April 28, 2012, in St. Louis. The Kings won 3-1. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Chris Lee)They said it

“Special teams and PK. I’d say that’s number one, when you don’t allow the other team to get confidence on the power play and you score three shorthanded goals. If I’m on the other team, that’s deflating. It’s the same guy doing it. Brownie is the main catalyst on that. He’s tenacious out there on the PK. It’s almost like he enjoys it more than 5-on-5 or the power play sometimes. That’s been a success. And obviously Jonathan Quick.’’ – Dustin Penner, on the keys to winning on the road in the playoffs.

“That’s what the series is going to be like, is trying to limit the shots from the inside and make it really hard for them to get scoring opportunities. They had some good chances tonight, and again Quickie is there for us and we find ways to get timely and big goals.’’ – Dustin Brown, on trying to limit the Blues’ scoring chances.

“I don’t think we made many adjustments. I just think it was the fact of getting our legs underneath us. This is a tough team, to come into their building, and they came out flying. They’re one of the best teams on home ice in the league. We were able to kind of weather the storm a little bit. They got one early, but we were able to get one back at the end of the first and we continued our strong play through the last two periods there.’’ – Jonathan Quick, on the Kings’ defensive adjustments throughout the game.

“It’s good. It’s definitely a great feeling to be able to chip in and help out a little here. We’ve got a lot of work to do. It’s fun right now, but it’s a new day tomorrow.’’ – Matt Greene, on scoring his first career playoff goal.

“We know how good they are, and we know how good they were last series. We just try to find ways. I don’t think there’s magic to it. Quite honestly, 0-for-17 (on the power play) has no bearing on it. It’s about tonight. It’s like us not scoring on the power play. I’m sure they want to get better at it and I’m sure we want to get better at it.’’ – Darryl Sutter, on keeping the Blues’ power play off the scoreboard, in the regular season and Game 1.

Game 5: Kings knock off Canucks to advance to second round

Vancouver Canucks goalie Cory Schneider throws the puck down on the ice after his teams season ends with an overtime goal to the celebrating Los Angeles Kings. Ben Nelms/Reuters

Los Angeles Kings' Jarret Stoll, bottom, scores the game-winning goal against Vancouver Canucks' goalie Cory Schneider during the first overtime period of game 5 of an NHL Western Conference quarterfinal Stanley Cup playoff hockey series in Vancouver, British Columbia on Sunday April 22, 2012. Los Angeles won the series 4 games to 1. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck)Game 5:  Kings 2, Canucks 1

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

• AP: Jarret Stoll’s OT winner helps Kings knock top seed Canucks out of playoffs

With a quick flick of his wrists, Jarret Stoll sent the Los Angeles Kings on to face St. Louis in the second round — and the Vancouver Canucks into the offseason a lot sonner than they expected after topping the NHL in the regular season.

• LA Times: Kings eliminate the Canucks with 2-1 overtime win

Richardson, who had gotten a team-low 4:09 of ice time over the first two periods in addition to having taken a penalty, continued to be an offensive threat when he hit the post on a backhander almost midway through the third period, triggering gasps from fans who had become anxious about the tide having turned against the Canucks.

• LA Times: Kings complete stunning upset of Canucks with overtime win

Dustin Brown had long imagined what it would feel like to be on the winning side of the traditional playoff handshake ceremony in which foes who bash each other for weeks exchange congratulations instead of elbows to the chops.

• Jarret Stoll pockets game winner, L.A. clinches series

Just more than four minutes into overtime, Trevor Lewis poked the puck away from Vancouver defenseman Dan Hamhuis near the Canucks’ blue line and Hamhuis tumbled to the ice. As Stoll scooped in the puck and raced off on a 2-on-1, the Vancouver crowd groaned with displeasure, as they thought Hamhuis was tripped. With rookie Dwight King on his right and Canucks defenseman Sami Salo left alone to defend the play, Stoll chose to shoot the puck from the left faceoff circle, beating goalie Cory Schneider in the top left corner for the biggest goal of his career.

• Kings get over the hump, reach second round

A team that so often wore their opponents down with smothering defensive play continued the franchise’s tradition for dramatic endings.
With the amount of poise they’ve showed during their five consecutive playoff road wins, their current advancement is practically being sold by The Most Interesting Man In The World, pardon any advertisements.
“We don’t always advance. But when we do, we do it dramatically.”

• Stoll’s OT goal eliminates top-seeded Canucks

So much for the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Canucks — their season is over just five games into the playoffs against a Kings’ team that barely qualified. But it was the way Los Angeles made the playoffs that paid off in Game 5.

Cory Schneider #35 of the Vancouver Canucks congratulates winning goaltender Jonathan Quick #32 of the Los Angeles Kings after Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Arena on April 22, 2012 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Los Angeles won 2-1 in overtime to take the series 4-1. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)They said it

“I was seeing a little bit of room up there, and short-side, maybe that’s something that they’re not expecting. I was definitely shooting all the way. Lewie did a great job on the turnover, just forcing their D-man. I was just at the right place at the right time and had a nice little transition 2-on-1.’’ – Jarret Stoll, on his goal.

“It’s huge. I’ve been here for eight, nine years, and this is a pretty good feeling for a lot of guys in here, especially the guys who have been here for an extended amount of time. It’s been a work in progress. This team has worked hard, and in saying that, we’ve got to enjoy it but get ready to go again.’’ – Dustin Brown, on getting to the second round.

“I feel we’ve played them well in the regular season. They’re a physical team, great goaltending, great defensive system. They’re going to be quite a test for us. We’re looking forward to it. We’re looking forward to the challenge. Hopefully it turns out the same way this one did.’’ – Jonathan Quick, on facing St. Louis.

“I thought, early on, they carried the play. We started to get some life in the second but took some penalties, got in some penalty trouble. Then I thought, in the latter half of the third and obviously in overtime, we pressed pretty well and created a lot of chances and found a way to get one by.” – Willie Mitchell, on the game.

“To win a playoff series when you haven’t played in one, or won one, that is significant for them. They will relish that and learn from it and move on again. It’s good for Jonathan Quick. Him and Schneider, over the years, since their young days, have done that a lot.’’ – Darryl Sutter, on his young players winning a playoff series.

Game 4: Canucks show some pluck vs. Kings

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa, right, celebrates his goal against the Los Angeles Kings with teammates, from left, defenseman Alexander Edler, of Sweden; left wing David Booth; center Henrik Sedin, of Sweden; and left wing Daniel Sedin, of Sweden, during the second period of Game 4 in a first-round NHL Stanley Cup playoff series, Wednesday, April 18, 2012, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Jonathan Quick #32 of the Los Angeles Kings reacts after he is pulled for an extra attacker against the Vancouver Canucks during the last minute of the game at Staples Center on April 18, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Game 4: Canucks 3, Kings 1

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

• AP: Canucks avoid elimination, beat Kings in Game 4

With their backs against the Staples Center glass, the Canucks got a boost from leading goal-scorer Daniel Sedin, who returned from a 12-game absence because of a concussion and contributed an assist to a power play that went 0 for 14 in the first three games.

• LA Times: Kings can’t close out deal in 3-1 loss to Canucks in Game 4

The dust was being blown off NHL record books. Potential alliterations trotted out — Vancouver Vanquished? — and then discarded. The next step was thinking about measuring space for a Dustin Brown statue in front of Staples Center.
There was one small matter: The Kings had to go and play the second period Wednesday night.

• LA Times: Canucks need stops, so Cory Schneider tends to it

The good news for the Kings is that they will have three more chances to win this series, starting with Game 5 on Sunday at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena.
The bad news is that a star was born at Staples Center on Wednesday, and he wears a Vancouver uniform.

• The Key Three

SCHNEIDER STANDS TALL: How would a relatively inexperienced goalie, making his third NHL playoff start, respond in a game that had the potential to end his team’s season. Quite well, actually. Vancouver

• Canucks stay alive by beating Kings 3-1

L.A. is trying to become the 10th eighth-seeded team to upset the No.1 seed since the League went to its current playoff format in 1994. Another boisterous sellout crowd was poised for the first sweep in franchise history before a classic shift in momentum unfolded in the third period.

• Vancouver scores twice in second period to take 2-1 lead

The good: Although they lost the lead in the second period, the Kings are still playing a solid all-around game. They out-shot the Canucks, 18-9, in the period and have a 31-16 advantage overall. Jarret Stoll is 8-0 in the faceoff circle to help the Kings to a 21-18 advantage on the drop.

Anze Kopitar #11 of the Los Angeles Kings celebrates his goal for a 1-0 lead with his bench during the first period at Staples Center on April 18, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
They said it

“I just think we didn’t have as much composure in the second period. We were throwing pucks away and they ended up making plays and we gave them too much space, which, with that team you just can’t do. They have some good players that are going to make good plays if you give them time and space. That was the case tonight.’’ – Anze Kopitar, on what happened in the second period.

“We’ve got to push harder. I thought we played a pretty good game. Schneider was really good in net. We’ve got to push harder. If we want to win this series, it’s going to take more, from this room, to do so.’’ – Dustin Brown, on the game.

“I don’t like the big break. It’s a long time in between games, and we certainly didn’t want to do this. Now we have three more days of interviews to do. On the other side of it, we’re going to have good time to regroup, refocus and try to close this out in five now.’’ – Justin Williams, on the long break before the next game.

“I don’t see it as a dangerous situation. It’s going to be a fun situation, to be able to close them out, hopefully, in front of their home fans. It’s going to be another task at hand. It’s going to be one that we would love to do, so we’re going to play as hard as we can in the next game, and make sure we do everything we can to top it off.’’ – Drew Doughty, on being in a dangerous situation, having to go back to Vancouver.

“I didn’t think either team did much different than they did (before). Obviously it was a big lift for them, getting guys back. Quite honestly, it’s a fine line. We’re not a team that scores a lot, and you’ve got to score on your opportunities. We had a borderline-whistle non-goal and we missed a penalty shot. We could be standing here talking about a totally different thing right now. There’s not much difference.’’ – Darryl Sutter, on what changed for the Canucks.

Game 3: Quick deals shutout to reeling Canucks, Kings up 3-0 in series

Goalie Jonathan Quick #32 of the Los Angeles Kings watches the puck after making a save with his foot against the Vancouver Canucks in Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center on April 15, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

The Vancouver Canucks bench reacts after center Henrik Sedin (33) is hit to the ice by Los Angeles Kings right wing Dustin Brown (C) during Game 3. Danny Moloshok/REUTERSGame 3: Kings 1, Canucks 0

• Please note: To peep out all the videos online about this game, check out today’s Hockeywood Dailies. For the view from Vancouver, check out Across The Aisle. For the Canucks videos from this game, view the Hockeywood Dailies: Canucks Edition. And to do some star watching, take a look at Game 3’s Hockerazzi coverage.

• AP: Kings blank Canucks on way to 3-0 series lead

Jonathan Quick made 41 saves, Dustin Brown scored on a long rebound with 13:30 to play, and the eighth-seeded Los Angeles Kings pushed the Vancouver Canucks to the brink of elimination with a 1-0 victory in Game 3 on Sunday night.

• LA Times: Kings almost have series zip-locked down

But Quick, who has stopped 111 of 115 shots in three games — a .965 save percentage — insisted he and his teammates weren’t worthy of lavish praise. Always a critic, he said he could have done a better job controlling rebounds Sunday and said the team can’t afford to lose its focus.

• Gauging Kings’ chances for a Cinderella run

Depending upon whom you ask, Quick may just hold the trump card over every West goalie not named Pekka Rinne. As you’ve probably heard a lot of times in your hockey-loving life, a hot netminder can make all the difference.

• Dustin Brown making Canucks black and blue

The team captain and longest-tenured member of the Los Angeles Kings laid out the star player for Vancouver with one of his biggest hits of the season, then threw a wrench in the Canucks’ postseason hopes with a third-period goal that stood up as the game winner Sunday night in the 1-0 victory at Staples Center.

• Kings change the hockey culture in L.A.

Anyone who has been to a Kings playoff game at Staples Center will tell you it’s where stereotypes about West Coast hockey go to die. It is unlike any other sports event in Los Angeles. Whereas fans arrive two minutes into the game when the Los Angeles Lakers play, they arrive two hours before the game to see the Kings.

• Kings on the verge of writing team history

Wayne Gretzky never experienced this. Neither did Rogie Vachon, Marcel Dionne or Luc Robitaille. The Los Angeles Kings are now up three games to none in a playoff series for the first time in franchise history after Jonathan Quick stopped all 41 shots in a white knuckled 1-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks Sunday night at Staples Center.

• Kings put Canucks on brink with 1-0 win

With the win, L.A. has a commanding 3-0 series lead. It is trying to become the ninth No.8 seed to upset a No.1 seed since the NHL went to its current playoff format in 1993. Game 4 is in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown scores his third-period goal on Vancouver Canucks goalie Cory Schneider and defenceman Alex Edler (right) during Game 3 of their NHL Western Conference Hockey quarter-final series at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, April 15, 2012. Danny Moloshok/Reuters

Dustin Brown #23 of the Los Angeles Kings reacts after scoring the game winning goal against the Vancouver Canucks in Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center on April 15, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)They said it

“That’s what I was saying earlier, not a lot of pucks got through on the ones I was unable to see. Guys sacrificing all over the ice and making sure they weren’t getting through. They’ve been doing it all year and they did a great job tonight. That’s something that everybody expects out of each other and it’s something they’ve done really well.” – Jonathan Quick, on the Kings’ ability to block shots.

“He’s a hard player, an elusive player to hit, and one of the top players. I just got a chance to finish my check, and I did. I think they reacted like any team would, when one of their better players gets hit like that. It’s part of playoff hockey. He returned and kept on playing, and that’s just how it goes.’’  Dustin Brown, on his hit on Henrik Sedin.

“Yeah, not too shabby. [laughs] We need him to keep going like that. (His physical play) means everything to us. That’s what he has to do on a daily basis to be a force out there. Obviously, he wants to do it and we need him to do it, so tonight was probably one of the best games he’s played in a long time. I guess the one in Vancouver was not too bad either. We need everybody to play like that.” – Anze Kopitar, on Dustin Brown’s playoff surge.

“We know we’ve been there plenty of times before, and he’s been there with us. We just have that feeling with him, him with us. It’s just a battle. We got out there and we battle our butts off for him, and he does for us, and we know he’s going to make big saves when he needs to, and he did tonight. We need to be better in front of him, for sure.’’ – Jarret Stoll, on the Kings’ confidence with Quick in net in a tight game.

“We can’t take our foot off the pedal. We’ve got to keep going. We’ve got three days off, and we have to make sure we’re refocused. We have to start focusing on the next game at hand. It’s another must-win game. We don’t want to give them any momentum by winning one game in our barn and then taking it back to theirs. It’s a huge game, and a must-win.’’ – Drew Doughty, on leading 3-0 in the series, with two days off coming up.

“There is a composure factor that has to come into it, if you want to be a good playoff player or a good playoff team or a good playoff coach. There is a composure factor there and if you can spread that around a little bit that’s good.” – Darryl Sutter, on staying composed, with penalties.

Game 2: Brown deals two short-handed goals, loss to Canucks

Los Angeles Kings right wing Dustin Brown (23) sends a shot past Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo (1) during the second period of Game 2 of a first-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series in Vancouver, British Columbia, Friday, April, 13, 2012. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)

Goalie Jonathan Quick #32 of the Los Angeles Kings is congratulated by Dustin Brown #23 after defeating the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Arena on April 13, 2012 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The Kings take a 2-0 lead in the best of seven series. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)Game 2: Kings 4, Canucks 2

To peep out all the videos online about this game, check out today’s Hockeywood Dailies. Click here for the view Across The Aisle. And here’s the The Canucks’ Hockeywood Dailies.

• AP: Dustin Brown helps Kings to 2-0 series lead vs. Vancouver

Brown became the 13th player to score two short-handed goals in a playoff game. John Madden was the last previous player to accomplish the feat, doing it for New Jersey against the New York Rangers in 2006.

• LA Times: Kings take 2-0 series lead over Canucks

What Brown supposedly lacks doesn’t matter. The physicality and fierce determination he has brought to his game the past six weeks have proved he’s in his rightful place as the captain, a point he underscored Friday by scoring two short-handed goals in the Kings’ 4-2 playoff upset of the top-seeded Canucks before an unhappy sellout crowd at Rogers Arena.

• Brown comes up short in 4-2 victory vs. Canucks

Special teams usually play a key role in any playoff series, and Friday night the Kings were extra special, getting two short-handed goals from Dustin Brown and another from Jarret Stoll on the power play at Rogers Arena in Vancouver to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

• Brown’s performance lifts Kings in Game 2

While Mike Richards and Jeff Carter have earned some well-earned points in this series, as well as some praise by Canucks coach Alain Vigneault, who claimed Richards “played one of the best games I’ve seen him play since he’s been in L.A.” after Game 1, it’s still the team’s long-standing establishment of Brown, Anze Kopitar, Justin Williams, Jarret Stoll and Matt Greene, to name several players, who have long forged the team’s hard working, two-way character.

• Brown helps Kings go 2-0 up vs. Canucks

The right winger opened the scoring with 9 seconds left in the first period, and gave the Kings a 2-1 lead at 5:17 of the second. Brown became the 12th player – Wayne Gretzky did it twice – to score two short-handed goals in a playoff game.

• Kings shut down Canucks’ power play in 4-2 win

Brown may not have joined Gretzky and become the 10th Kings player with a playoff hat trick, but he does have three goals in the first two games of this first-round series, giving his team a chance to take a 3-0 stranglehold when the series shifts to Los Angeles for Game 3 on Sunday night.

Jarret Stoll #28 of the Los Angeles Kings celebrates a third goal against the Vancouver Canucks during Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Finals at Rogers Arena on April 13, 2012 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
They said it

“I think it’s important for our top guys to lead by example. It’s the role players and the depth players who fall in behind, who make the team go. You need big performances at this time of year, and we’ve gotten big performances from top-line guys, fourth-line guys. I think it’s important for us to understand where we’re at, and hit the reset button.’’ – Dustin Brown, on getting big games from team leaders.

“Pretty confident. They’re obviously a very good team. To get two in here, it’s huge for us, but nothing is decided yet. We have to play. We have to focus and play our game for whatever it is, the next two, three, four games. We have to play our game and focus on that.’’ – Anze Kopitar, on the team’s confidence level after winning two games in Vancouver.

 “I think, from day one, this team has been a great defensive team, and we’re just trying to stick to the same thing. They’ve got a lot of speed up front. They’ve got some good shooters and a lot of talent up there. We just have to keep things simple. We don’t want to make turnovers. That’s one of the key things. If we’re making turnovers, the other team is going to come back and put some pucks in the net. I think we’ve been doing a good job with that, but we’ve still got better. Quickie, he’s been playing great in net.’’ – Drew Doughty, on the Kings’ defensive success.

“Well, we don’t have much time between games. The way the series is, we travel and then play again, and then we have some (down) time. We try to keep a real tight handle on playing one game at a time. You very easily could be going home down two (games). You could be going home tied. There’s really not much difference. You don’t get much out of winning two games.’’ – Darryl Sutter, on trying to keep the team focused going forward.

Game 1: Kings’ complete game helps snatch home ice from Vancouver

Dustin Penner #25 of the Los Angeles Kings, who scored the winning goal against the Vancouver Canucks in the third period, is congratulated at the bench during Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Finals at Rogers Arena on April 11, 2012 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Los Angeles won 4-2. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick (32) keeps his eye on the puck during third period NHL Stanley Cup playoff hockey action against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Wednesday, April, 11, 2012. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)
Game 1: Kings 4, Canucks 2

• To peep out all the videos online about this game, check out today’s Hockeywood Dailies.
For the Vancouver view, check out Across The Aisle and Hockeywood Dailies: Canucks’ Edition.

• AP: Kings take Game 1 against Canucks in Western quarters

The Canucks finished first overall in the NHL for the second straight season with a 51-22-9 record, while the Kings finished eighth in the Western Conference with a 40-27-15 mark, but the Kings controlled most of the play in the first two periods.

• LA Times: Inspired Kings bounce Canucks, 4-2, in playoff opener

(Richards) was able to set up the decisive goal with 3 minutes 14 seconds left in the third period because of his smarts, experience and calm, qualities the Kings might have wondered he still had while he struggled through a season-long scoring slump.

• Dustin Penner comes through with Game 1 game winner

The Kings lost one of their key fourth-line forwards midway through the second period when Vancouver right wing Byron Bitz laid a hard lick on Kyle Clifford from behind, slamming his head against the glass and twisting his neck awkwardly. Clifford was unsteady as he left the ice and did not return. Bitz was given a five-minute major boarding penalty and a game misconduct, and the Kings scored on the ensuing power play for a 2-1 lead. Expect the league to take a long look at that hit for any additional discipline.

• The Key Three Apr. 11

1. METTLE TESTED, TEST PASSED Dustin Penner, who has lifted the Stanley Cup, scored the game-winning goal. Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, who made it to the Cup Finals, assisted, and the Kings were able to grab the victory.

• Fox Sports West: Penner able to contribute when it matters most

(Luongo’s) 4-9-3 record, 2.22 goals-against average and .921 save percentage against the Kings are among his best career numbers against any opponent, though with 38 shots faced and backed by only two goals Wednesday, his window of error was practically shut.

• Fox Sports: Persistent Kings make Canucks pay

The old cliché goes something like this: “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” That aptly describes the performance of the Los Angeles Kings, who defeated the top-seeded Vancouver Canucks 4-2 on Wednesday in Game 1 of their Stanley Cup playoff series thanks to a lucky bounce and a last-minute goal by Dustin Penner.

• Kings top Canucks 4-2 in opener

The Canucks wasted a great game from Luongo, especially early. He across to his right just 32 seconds into the game and getting his blocker up to rob Rob Scuderi alone at the end of a 3-on-2, and added two more great glove stops on Brown as Los Angeles jumped out to an early 4-0 shot advantage.

Los Angeles Kings right wing Dustin Brown (23) celebrates his goal against the Vancouver Canucks with teammates Jeff Carter (77) and Mike Richards (10) during third period NHL Stanley Cup playoff hockey action at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Wednesday, April, 11, 2012. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)They said it

“We came out strong. We knew it was going to be a tough game. We knew they were going to come out hitting, and we were pretty well prepared. We did a lot of video and we’re a pretty focused group right now.’’ – Dustin Penner, on the game.

“I think we’ve been in the playoffs a couple times now, and we understand a little better what it’s about, and the mindset you need to have. We’re playing a team that has dominated this league for the last two years, and we can’t have any letdowns. I think we did a pretty good job of limiting our mistakes. That’s going to be key for us, if we want to be successful against these guys. If we give them opportunities, they’re going to capitalize.’’ – Dustin Brown, on resetting after the regular season.

“To tell you the truth, I was just caught going forward, and I was trying to get back in a good defensive position. We got lucky. It hit me and ended up on my stick. I made a bad pass and it somehow ended up in the net. It was a lucky break but we’ll take it.’’ – Mike Richards, on his play that led to the game-winning goal.

“I was trying to get it somewhere around there. I knew it was coming to my skates. … I was trying to direct it to that area, back-post somewhere. I knew Pens was driving there, so it worked out pretty good. The stick wasn’t working too well tonight, so it’s a good thing the skate was.’’ – Jeff Carter, on his deflection to Dustin Penner for the game-winning goal.

“Well, we scored one 5-on-3 and we didn’t score on the next one. In the playoffs, if you get 5-on-3s, you better score on 5-on-3s all the time. We were fortunate to not score on both, and win the game. Hey, for both teams, the best penalty-killers were the goalies.’’ – Darryl Sutter, on the special teams.

Kings take two steps forward in 2-0 shutout of Oilers

Slava Voynov #26 of the Los Angeles Kings skates with the puck against the Edmonton Oilers at Staples Center on April 2, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)

Los Angeles Kings goalie Johnathan Ouick, left, and defenseman Willie Mitchell celebrate their 2-0 win against the Edmonton Oilers in a NHL hockey game, Monday, April 2, 2012, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Richard Hartog)
Game 80: Kings 2, Oilers 0

To peep out all the videos online about this game, check out today’s Hockeywood Dailies. And for the Oilers’ viewpoint, take a look Across The Aisle.

• AP: Kings close in on Pacific crown, beat Oilers 2-0

Los Angeles, which has won nine of 12, could clinch its first division title in 21 years with two regulation wins over San Jose in a home-and-home series starting Thursday—or everything still could go wrong. After their fifth game in eight days, the Kings are simply grateful they can take a day off to prepare for that last push.

• LA Times: Kings tighten hold on Pacific Division, beat Edmonton, 2-0

Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, who faced 19 shots, secured his 10th shutout of the season and 24th of his career. Quick has recorded two shutouts in the span of six days and has allowed one goal in his last three starts. Naturally, he credited the defense in helping extending his club record for shutouts in a season.

•LAKings: The Key Three: Apr. 2

Edmonton entered the game with the NHL’s second-best power-play percentage this season. The Kings shut them down, and didn’t allow a single shot on goal in four minutes. Just as they did two days earlier in Minnesota, the Kings killed a double-minor high-sticking penalty. Against the Wild, that kill allowed the Kings to preserve one point. Against the Oilers, it allowed them to preserve two points.

• Kings inch closer with 2-0 win over Oilers

Any extra time (Voynov) recently spent in the weight room paid off in the offensive zone Monday. His blast was strong enough to make it under Devan Dubnyk’s right pad 34 seconds into the third period and Jonathan Quick recorded his League-leading 10th shutout in a 2-0 win against the Edmonton Oilers at the Staples Center.

• Rookies come up big in 2-0 win vs. Oilers

Two players who began the season in the American Hockey League scored two of the biggest third-period goals of the season Monday night, lifting the Kings to a 2-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers at Staples Center and inching them closer to their first division title in 21 years.

• Team report

Almost every coach talks about wanting to roll four lines, but most of them can’t pull it off on a regular basis. When things get tight, coaches shorten the bench. Darryl Sutter hasn’t been immune, but the play of the Kings’ fourth line has regularly allowed Sutter to play the unit 10-plus minutes per game, reducing the minute load on his top two lines.

Edmonton Oilers' Ryan Jones, center, is checked between Los Angeles Kings' Dustin Penner, left, and Matt Greene during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, April 2, 2012, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Richard Hartog)
They said it

“You’ve got to tip the cap to Dubnyk over there. He made some terrific saves to keep them in it there for two periods. Slav had a heavy shot there that was able to find its way in. It kind of took a little pressure off everybody. We did a great job the whole game, as far as defensive zone and not giving them much. Our PK was huge, with that double minor that we had to face in the third. We got what we came here for, two points.’’ – Jonathan Quick, on still being confident going into the third period 0-0.

“I had an idea that he was trying to get him over (closer to the boards). I didn’t know if he was going to wait until the guy came totally over. It looked like he changed his mind halfway. He almost went all the way to him, then he backed off, which gave (Richards) enough time to make a nice pass.’’ – Dwight King, on whether he knew what Richards would do on the 2-on-1.

“Slava’s a stud. He gets his points whenever we need
him. He never scores kind of a fifth goal or anything like that. It’s
always the go-ahead or the tying goal or the winning goal. He’s a real
stud back there.” – Matt Greene, on Slava Voynov.

“You have to have 40 wins. The guys who have 40 wins are the best goalies. The next part is, you do it from the second week in April. Just like the horse the first Saturday in May.’’ – Darryl Sutter, on whether there is a better goalie than Quick.

Kings escape with point, going back to Cali

Wild won 4-3 in a shootout. Wild's goalie Niklas Backstrom made a save on a shot-on-goal by Kings Mike Richards in the overtime period. Marlin Levison/Star Tribune

Los Angeles Kings' Brad Richardson, right, celebrates with teammate Dustin Brown after getting a goal in the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Minnesota Wild, Saturday, March 31, 2012, in St. Paul, Minn. Brown also scored in the first period and Richardson added a goal in the second. The Wild won 4-3 in a shootout. (AP Photo/ Jim Mone)Game 79: Wild 4, Kings 3, shootout

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

• AP: Wild’s Erik Christensen, Mikko Koivu score in SO victory over Kings

The Los Angeles Kings are heading home tied for the Pacific Division lead. Even though they let a point slip away in Minnesota, they’re not lamenting the missed opportunity too much. They prefer to look at their overall body of work the past week.

• Yahoo: Team Report

The good news for the Kings is that they don’t have to leave California again in the regular season. After the game against Edmonton, they finish with a home-and-home set against San Jose.

• The Key Three: Mar. 31

Since April 2, 2009, there had been 92 games in which the Kings took a
lead into the third period. In 86 of those games, the Kings earned two
points. In terms of a success rate, in holding the late, that’s 93.5
percent. The Minnesota Wild, the 13th-place team in the Western
Conference, didn’t figure to become the seventh team to deny the Kings a
win in that situation, but they did.

• Wild play spoiler again, edge Kings in shootout

Just 48 hours after stealing a point from Florida, the Wild did the same to the Los Angeles Kings, winning 4-3 in a shootout at Xcel Energy Center on Saturday night.

• Star-Tribune: Wild succeeding in role of spoiler

But the victory came at a cost. Center Warren Peters was injured going into the wall face-first after a hit by Jordan Nolan and left the game early in the third period. Earlier, defenseman Steven Kampfer was lost to an undisclosed injury.

• Pioneer Press: Minnesota Wild beat Kings as new guys star

While the Wild retooled in an attempt to remedy what will be their fourth season in a row outside the playoffs, for most of January through March no one seemed ready to fill holes left by departed Nick Schultz, Marek Zidlicky, Greg Zanon, Colton Gillies, Brad Staubitz, Eric Nystrom, Casey Wellman and others.

Kings Drew Doughty, left and Wild's Nick Johnson (25) collided in front of the Wild bench. Marlin Levison/Star Tribune
They said it

“It’s a big point. I think we left one on the table. It’s not too often we blow leads, this team. I don’t know what our record is with a third-period lead, but it is what it is. It’s been a tough schedule. We had opportunities there. I think Backstrom probably made the save of the game there in overtime on Richie [Mike Richards]. That could have been the game if he doesn’t make that save.”– Dustin Brown, on the game.

“No excuses, but to me it’s more mental. When you make a trip like that, blah blah blah, whatever you want to say, it’s not so much about the physical element of playing hockey. It’s more about the mental side of things. Mentally, you’re a little slow. You’re not as sharp. Once we got through the first period, we got some of the crap out of our system and out of our heads and I thought, the rest of the game, we played fine.’’ – Rob Scuderi, on rebounding from the first period.

“Yeah, I think so. Heck, that’s what I told them. We got three out of four (points) in a day. And five out of six in less than four days. I think if you’d have said that, at any other time than right now, you’d say it was great.” – Darryl Sutter, on whether this was a “good’’ trip, and almost a “great” trip.

Kings’ complete game victory worth five spots in standings

Dustin Brown #23 of the Los Angeles Kings celebrates a first period goal against the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place on March 30, 2012 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, front, makes a glove save against Edmonton Oilers' Lennart Petrell during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Edmonton, Alberta, Friday, March 30, 2012. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, John Ulan)
Game 78: Kings 4, Oilers 1

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

• AP: Anze Kopitar has goal, assist as Kings take Pacific Division lead

The Los Angeles Kings pushed aside the Edmonton Oilers to take the Pacific Division lead. Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist in the Kings’ 4-1 victory Friday night.

• LA Times: Kings move into division lead with 4-1 victory over Oilers

The words came first and then the actions followed about nine or so hours later. And just like that, the Kings returned to a place where they have been before, briefly. First place in the Pacific Division.

• The Key Three: March 30

The Kings got a full-lineup effort, but most notable was the way the team leaders stepped up. Brown played one of his best overall games, Richards had just from his first shift and scored a shorthanded goal and Greene had two assists and played a physical game. Those are the three captains, and they stepped up. The Kings, once again, had a solid 60-minute effort.

• Kings down Oilers 4-1, take Pacific lead

Los Angeles scored on its first shot of the game when Dwight King’s long shot was tipped by Kopitar through the legs of goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin just 52 seconds after the opening faceoff.

• Victory vs. Oilers worth five spots in standings

The defensive corps in L.A. continues to chip in on the offensive end, and that’s always a boost for a team scratching to make the playoffs. Drew Doughty scored the third goal of the game and Alec Martinez the fourth, giving the defensemen 13 goals in the last 19 games. The blue-liners also chipped in with four assists against Edmonton.

Los Angeles Kings' Dwight King (74) celebrates his goal against the Edmonton Oilers with Anze Kopitar during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Edmonton, Alberta, Friday, March 30, 2012. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, John Ulan)They said it

“At this point in the year, a team like the Oilers is a very dangerous team. They have nothing to play for and they have a lot of high skill. It’s a playoff game for us, so we had to play hard and kind of get on them early, and we did a good job of playing a physical game and just jumping on them from the get-go.’’ – Dustin Brown, on the game.

“Tonight was just luck. It bounced over his stick. Johnny (Stevens) is good about just encouraging us to put pressure on them. Tonight, and the last couple ones I think, have just been fortunate bounces, where it goes off the stick and goes the other way.’’ – Mike Richards, on his penchant for shorthanded goals.

“We came out strong right off the hop and kind of denied that loose game that they wanted to play. We came out and played a good system game and it led to all of the breakdowns on their part. It was good for us to make it a little easier on Quick so he doesn’t have to bail us out every time.” – Anze Kopitar, on the game.

“He made two big saves at the end of the second. It was that kind of a game. They’re playing for different reasons. A bunch of young guys, and we’re trying to stay with it and he made two big saves there.’’ – Darryl Sutter, on Jonathan Quick’s game.

“They were stronger and more determined than us. The Kings are a desperate team. They were right there on the cusp of being in the playoffs, and they are playing with every bit of urgency you can possibly imagine. And we’re hanging on for dear life trying not to embarrass ourselves. When you do that, that’s exactly what happens.” – Oilers coach Tom Renney, about the Kings.

Quick shines again as Kings dampen Flames playoff hopes

Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, left, watches the puck as Calgary Flames' Jarome Iginla chases it during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Calgary, Alberta, Wednesday, March 28, 2012. The Kings won 3-0. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh)

Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings celebrates a goal behind Calgary Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff during NHL hockey action at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Wednesday, March 28, 2012. LYLE ASPINALL/CALGARY SUN/QMI AGENCYGame 77: Kings 3, Flames 0

To peep out all the videos online about this game, check out today’s Hockeywood Dailies. And to check out the view from Across the aisle, click here.

• AP: Jonathan Quick sets shutout record as Kings gain key ground

(Quick) stopped 19 shots for his ninth shutout of the season, and the Los Angeles Kings beat the Calgary Flames 3-0 on Wednesday night to move into the eighth place in the Western Conference.

• LA Times: Kings boost playoff chances with 3-0 victory over Flames

Anze Kopitar, who assisted on Brown’s goal with a dazzling give-and-go in the second period, sat in the dressing room and asked for a summary of the scores, in particular, the Ducks-Sharks result. He nodded as all the information was passed along. All going the right way, right? Kopitar, who had two assists, smiled and knocked wood.

• The Key Three: March 28

RED-HOT START: One of the most frustrating things about the Kings’ play under Terry Murray was their tendency to start slow. Too often, the Kings looked tentative and passive in the opening minutes, and looked as though they were waiting to see how the other team wanted to play. That’s an exceedingly difficult way to play, especially on the road. Last night’s game provided a stark contrast. The Kings had six shots on goal before the game was two minutes old, and the Flames looked like they had walked through a tornado. Willie Mitchell’s goal, at the 5:30 mark, rewarded the Kings for their great effort at the start, and they didn’t look back.

• Kings shut down Flames in 3-0 win

The Flames couldn’t get momentum to swing their way in the third, mustering just four shots on Quick despite facing near elimination. Content to protect the lead, the Kings stifled any offensive creativity the Flames could muster.

• Yahoo: Team report

Anze Kopitar had two assists, and he has team highs of 43 assists and 67 points in 77 games this season. Kopitar had his 16th multi-point game of the season, also a team high. Kopitar has four goals and five assists in his last eight games, and seven goals and nine assists in his last 15 games.

• Jonathan Quick breaks franchise record in win

The penalty kill turned away all four power plays by the Flames, and Kopitar bounced back from a three-game points drought to record two assists, giving him 16 points in the last 15 games. Kopitar needs one more point in March to match his best month of the season (October).

• Calgary Sun: Kings’ Quick scaring plenty of NHL teams

There are plenty of stats to back up Quick’s performance this season, but the best one might be this: When shut out this season, the Kings have a 1-8-1 record. Twice, Quick shut the door for 65 minutes, sending his team to shootouts, which we all know are extinct once the playoffs begin.

Calgary Flames Jay Bouwmeester battles against Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings in front of Miikka Kiprusoff during NHL hockey in Calgary, Alberta, Wednesday March 28, 2012. AL CHAREST/CALGARY SUN/QMI AGENCY
They said it

“That was great. I think nothing but the best about Rogie (Vachon) and what he has done for this organization. I feel like it was kind of — not to say it in a bad way — but just a matter of time, because the way the game is going, how defensive-minded it is and how goals are so hard to come by nowadays. At the end of the day, though, it’s two points and that’s all that matters right now. I think we maybe bump up a spot or two (in the standings). That was a huge win.” – Jonathan Quick, on setting a new franchise single-season record with nine shutouts.

“Years before, me personally or whoever was on the team, we came in and we got caught off-guard by their start, because they always come out of the gate really hard. That’s kind of their statement right off the hop, and tonight we wanted to come out just as hard, if not harder, and push them back on their heels. We were able to do that right off the hop, get some shots in the early going.’’ – Anze Kopitar, on the strong start to the game.

“It’s just work. That’s all it is. I’d like to try to analyze it a little more, but it’s plain and simple, cut and dried. We had guys on the forecheck. Their D didn’t have any time to make plays, and when they did, we finished them. I thought we played a good 60 minutes.’’ – Justin Williams, on improvements from the previous game.

“It’s trying to have your own identity in it. That’s what you’re trying to do. When two or three guys drift away from it, that’s when you struggle with it. We don’t have the great veteran experience. If you look tonight, Cammy [Michael Cammalleri], Tanguay and Jarome, together they probably have more experience than our whole team in these situations. You’ve got to learn as you go, but you’ve got to try to be really good as you go.” – Coach Darryl Sutter, on the strong start to the game.