The defending Stanley Cup champions Los Angeles Kings were on the ropes after falling to the Chicago Blackhawks in the first two games of the Western Conference Finals. The Kings were able to avoid a huge 3-0 hole by taking Game 3 on home ice at the Staples Center.
In Game 1, Chicago was able to use a Marian Hossa tip in goal to take a 2-1 lead in the game in the second period. That score would end up being the final, with Chicago’s Corey Crawford stopping 21 of 22 shots. Jonathan Quick made 34 saves, but the Kings just couldn’t provide the necessary offense.
Game 2 was an entirely different story. The Blackhawks were the faster team and it showed as they rolled to a 4-2 win. Jonathan Quick, who is the biggest reason the Kings won the Cup last year and why they’re in position to do so this year, was not on his A-game.
Chicago scored two goals in the first period and quickly scored two in the second period to chase Quick from the game. Andrew Shaw and Brent Seabrook scored the first period goals and Bryan Bickell and Michael Handzus scored on back-to-back shots in the second.
The Kings had their impressive streak of 34 consecutive games without allowing more than 3 goals in the postseason snapped, which happened to be the longest such streak in NHL history.
Game 3 saw Los Angeles return home, where they are undefeated this postseason and continued to be as they kept their home streak alive as well as their chances in the series. Justin Williams, Slava Voynov, and Dwight King gave them just enough offense to help Jonathan Quick and provided the Kings with a much-needed a 3-1 win. With the win, the Kings have won 15 straight in the Staples Center since March.
Game 4 will be on Thursday and if the Kings can remain unblemished at home, the Western Conference Finals will turn into a best-of-three series. If the Blackhawks can manage to snap the home streak of the Kings, they will be in prime position to head back to the Stanley Cup Finals, with the Kings posting a miserable 1-7 road record this postseason.