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Lack Of Finish May Be The Only Reason St. Louis Blues Failed To Get Past LA Kings

LA Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, shown here
during a recent practice session.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Kings had the day off on May 11, the day after they defeated the St. Louis Blues, 2-1, in Game 6 of their Western Conference Quarterfinal playoff series.

After dropping the first two games of the series, the Kings came back to win four straight, eliminating the Blues in six games.

It was a brutal, physical series, one that featured lots of tight checking, a battle for every inch of ice on every shift, and 479 hits between the two teams.

“We’re beat up and tired,” Kings head coach Darryl Sutter said after Game 6.

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LA Kings vs. St. Louis Blues – Game 5: Expect A Return To Ultra-Tight Checking

LA Kings center Anze Kopitar, shown here during a recent practice session, ended a 20-game goal scoring slump in a 4-3 win over the St. Louis Blues in Game 4 of their first round playoff series at Staples Center on May 6, 2013.
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — Heading into tonight’s Game 5 of their Western Conference Quarterfinal series against the St. Louis Blues, the Los Angeles Kings cannot afford to think that they’ve found their groove after a 4-3 win in Game 4 at Staples Center on May 6.

Indeed, although their offense awakened, much of that was due to the Blues playing right into the hands of the Kings.

“The turnovers in the neutral zone fed their offense,” said Blues center David Backes. “To have a couple of guys pinching in, giving them a two-on-one and a three-on-one when we’re up 2-0 in the first, that’s not the way to protect a lead. We hung [Blues goalie Brian] Elliott out to dry there. He’s been awesome for us, and we need to be better for him.”

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LA Kings Need More Than Goals To Advance Past St. Louis Blues

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Heading into tonight’s Game 4 of their first round playoff series against the St. Louis Blues (7:00 PM PDT, Staples Center; televised regionally on CNBC in the United States, CBC and RDS in Canada, and on Fox Sports West in Southern California), the Los Angeles Kings find themselves back in the series, having won Game 3 on May 4, 1-0, at Staples Center, cutting the Blues’ lead in the series by half.

That said, the Kings know that they are still not playing as well as they can, or as they need to, if they expect to advance to the Western Conference Semifinals.

What stares you in the face most is the fact that the Kings have scored just one goal in each game of this series.

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Frozen Royalty Video: LA Kings Edged In Shootout At Anaheim, 4-3

ANAHEIM, CA — Corey Perry scored a breakaway goal and another in the shootout to lead the Anaheim Ducks to a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings in front of a standing-room only crowd of 18,494 fans at Honda Center in Anaheim on April 7.

Ducks forwards Kyle Palmieri opened the scoring at 2:54 of the first period after Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr was unable to clear the zone along the left wing boards. Ducks forward Matt Beleskey got the puck to Palmieri, who skated past Kings left wing Jordan Nolan, who got caught flat-footed. Palmieri went in alone on Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier, who made the initial save. But the puck hit Palmieri’s skate, and bounced into the net.

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