Western Final, Game 3: Kings Win 3-1, CHI leads series 2-1
LOS ANGELES – After losing Game 2 to fall to 1-7 on the road, the Los Angeles Kings returned home for Game 3 where they remain perfect (8-0) as they defeated the Chicago Blackhawks by a score of 3-1 getting back into the Western Conference Final.
After allowing four goals, Jonathan Quick got pulled in Game 2 allowing more than three goals in a game in his last 35 playoff outings. The pressure was now on the Los Angeles netminder to redeem himself in Game 3 and he stood tall stopping 19 of 20 Chicago shots en route to the win.
Up front, it was Justin Williams who started things off in Game 3 scoring his sixth of the playoffs 3:21 into the game. Slava Voynov and Rob Scuderi assisted on the tally.
Despite only outshooting them 8-7, the Kings outplayed the Blackhawks fairly convincingly in the opening frame. Los Angeles was constantly in Chicago’s zone and while they were only able to muster the one goal, their effort made their chances of winning a lot more promising that in Chicago.
In the second, the Kings continued their strong effort outshooting Chicago 9-3 and even had Slava Voynov scored his fifth to put the home team up by a pair. Despite squandering a four-minute double-minor, the Kings looked to be in control.
Unfortunately for them, Brian Bickell got the Hawks on the board on a wraparound that fooled everyone including Quick with just 34 seconds remaining in the period.
With Chicago determined to tie entering the third, they could not solve Quick who turned away 10 shots in the final frame. With that said, Hawks netminder Corey Crawford was just as reliable stopping 10 of his own – but it wasn’t enough as Dwight King scored his first of the playoffs into an empty net to seal the win for Los Angeles, cutting Chicago’s series lead in half.
Despite missing Mike Richards with an apparent concussion, the Kings were determined not to lose this series without a fight. While they would not have been ousted had they lost last night, they would have the enviable task of having to climb their way back from a 3-0 series stranglehold.
Of course, the Kings were too determined to let that happen and now wait for Game 4 on Thursday night where they hope to tie the series, sending things back to Chicago for a best-of-three.