Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Host Kings look a world better
By Pierre LeBrun ESPN.com
LOS ANGELES -- Sitting in their stalls looking like their equipment weighed about 400 pounds, the Los Angeles Kings absolutely played the part of a team that had just left it all on the ice with their season all but on the line.
Facing a 3-0 series deficit in the Western Conference finals, the character and championship moxie earned a season ago was a full display Tuesday night as the reigning Stanley Cup champions made this a series with a must 3-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.
Matt Greene was crunching Blackhawks bodies. Drew Doughty seemed to always have the puck. Slava Voynov had more impact than he has in a while, his second-period goal standing up as the winner. Dustin Penner played his most effective game in some time. Justin Williams, of course, was clutch when his team needed him, opening the scoring just 3:21 into the game to set the tone. Jeff Carter was absolutely phenomenal in his most complete playoff game of the spring. Jonathan Quick not surprisingly bounced back from his Game 2 hook.
In other words, a number of individuals all raised their game, which collectively produced the kind of team effort the Kings needed to slow down the good ship Blackhawk, snapping a five-game win streak for Chicago.