Kings sing Blues in first playoff game
LOS ANGELES, CA (BDCi) – The defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings began their effort in repeating as Stanley Cup Champions on Tuesday night as they opened the 2013 playoffs as the fifth seed against the fourth seeded St. Louis Blues. After sweeping the Blues four games to none in the playoffs last year, and three games to none during the regular season this year, would the Kings be able to continue riding their hot streak against them?
Riding that seven game win streak against the Blues, the Kings did not appear to use that momentum as the Blues dominated the play throughout the first period as the Blues outshot the Kings 14 to six. Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick looked like vintage Quick however as he made save after save. Unfortunately for him thought a shot by Alexander Steen a little under 11 minutes into the first period beat him and gave the Blues a 1-0 lead.
In the second period it was more of the same dominating play from the Blues as they outshot the Kings yet again as this time the shot total was 10 to seven in favor of St. Louis. Once again Jonathan Quick kept the Kings in the game as he didn’t allow a single shot to beat him, however Blues goalie Brian Elliot also failed to let the puck get past him as he kept the Blues in front with a 1-0 lead after two periods of play.
In the third period it appeared that the Blues were going to hang on for a 1-0 lead as they continued to dominate the play and outshot the Kings for the third consecutive period as this time it was 12 to six. Standing in the way of all 12 of those Blues shots however was Jonathan Quick as he was determined to not let the puck get past him as he shut out the Blues in the third period. Brian Elliot continued to one up Quick though as he kept making save after save and it appeared he was in line to earn a 1-0 victory. With about a minute left to play the Kings pulled Quick from the net in an effort to create some offense. That effort paid off as the Kings were finally able to beat Brian Elliot as Justin Williams fired a shot from the corner that beat Elliot top shelf to tie the game at one a-piece with just 32 seconds remaining in the third. The Kings and Blues played a tough final 32 seconds and the game went into overtime tied at one.
In the overtime frame the Kings finally looked like the puck possession team they have been all season as they dominated the play in overtime as they recorded 10 shots to the Blues six. It appeared that the Kings might be able to sneak a victory on the road as the Blues got called for a double minor penalty as Dustin Penner took a high stick to the face from Kevin Shattenkirk. On the ensuing power play however the Blues were able to clear the puck into the Kings zone where Jonathan Quick went to play the puck. As Quick handled the puck behind the net he went to pass it away but Blues defenseman Alexander Steen was able to block the pass and intercept it and wrap it around in front of the net and shoot it into the vacancy and score shorthanded to give the Blues a 2-1 victory.
The victory gives the Blues a 1-0 lead in the series and leaves the Kings shaking their head as they were outplayed and were unable to capitalize when they finally caught a break.
Game two of the series will be played Thursday night in St. Louis where the Kings will look to rebound from the game one loss and send the series back to Los Angeles tied at one game a-piece.
Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr missed time in the third period after being hit in the face by a skate and forcing a stoppage in play as they had to clean up a pool of blood. It was reported that Regehr may have suffered a broken nose. In true hockey fashion though Regehr was back out on the ice several shifts later.