Kings: Jarret Stoll pockets game winner, L.A. clinches series
Kings 2, Vancouver Canucks 1 (OT)
(Kings win series, 4-1)
Eight keys to the game
THE FACTS: Down by a goal to start the third period and with the momentum of the series tilting heavily toward Vancouver, the Kings rallied to tie the score Sunday night at Rogers Arena, then won their first playoff series in 11 years on an overtime goal by Jarret Stoll. The Kings will meet the St. Louis Blues in the second round.
THE STAT: The Kings won their fifth consecutive playoff game on the road, including all three in this series, extending their franchise record. It’s the first time they’ve clinched a playoff series on the road since 1993. They also became the 10th No. 8 seed to knock off a No. 1 seed since the playoff format was realigned in the 1993-94 season, and sixth time a President’s Trophy winner was eliminated in the first round.
TURNING POINT: Just more than four minutes into overtime, Trevor Lewis poked the puck away from Vancouver defenseman Dan Hamhuis near the Canucks' blue line and Hamhuis tumbled to the ice. As Stoll scooped in the puck and raced off on a 2-on-1, the Vancouver crowd groaned with displeasure, as they thought Hamhuis was tripped. With rookie Dwight King on his right and Canucks defenseman Sami Salo left alone to defend the play, Stoll chose to shoot the puck from the left faceoff circle, beating goalie Cory Schneider in the top left corner for the biggest goal of his career.HOT: In the days leading up to Game 5, Kings coach Darryl Sutter challenged goalie Jonathan Quick to be as good as Schneider, who had allowed just two goals in both Games 3 and 4 after taking over for Roberto Luongo. Quick met the challenge head on, stopping 26 shots. His best save might have come on a breakaway by Daniel Sedin late in the second period, one that left the door open for the Kings to come back.
NOT: Vancouver forward Ryan Kesler entered the playoffs as the team's third-leading goal scorer during the regular season, but also riding a 12-game goal-less streak. He proved that the slump was still alive and well, going all five playoff games without hitting the back of the net.
GOOD MOVE: Sutter juggled his scoring lines to start the second period, moving Dustin Penner up with Mike Richards and Jeff Carter and dropping King back to the third line with Stoll and Lewis. The move obviously worked, not so much for the Richards line, but it got the third line moving again. The third line ended up scoring four goals in the series, while the second line had one.
BAD MOVE: The Kings went on the power play twice in the first five minutes of the game and managed just three shots on goal, while Vancouver blocked four others. Then it was L.A.’s turn to visit the penalty box, as Drew Doughty was penalized for holding and Brad Richardson took a seat for roughing Chris Tanev. On the second man-advantage, the Kings failed on two chances to clear the puck, allowing Sedinto walk the puck out from the right-wing boards. Sedin faked a shot and got Quick to bite, then centered the puck to his twin brother, Henrik, who scored into the open side of the net for a 1-0 lead, Vancouver’s third power-play goal in the past two games. Doughty and Richardson redeemed themselves, however, teaming up on the tying goal in the third period.
NOTABLE: The Kings ended up with 19 blocked shots, including eight for Willie Mitchell and five for Doughty, who also set up the tying goal on a nifty pass to Richardson. Stoll also led the way with a team-high seven hits. The Kings have never won a playoff game against the St. Louis Blues, getting swept in 1969 and 1998. … Schneider was 0-10 in overtime playoff games in his AHL career.
UP NEXT: Game 1 at St. Louis Blues, TBA.