Western Conference semifinals
Game 4 (Kings lead the series, 3-0)
After the 2nd period:
Kings 2, St. Louis Blues 1
The good: About the only thing the Kings accomplished in the second period was maintaining their one-goal lead. They were out-shot, 13-3, in the middle frame and only a few quality saves by Jonathan Quick and some timely clearing passes kept the Blues from tying the score. The Kings haven’t put two bad periods together in a while, so they have that going for them.
The bad: For whatever reason, the Kings seemed content to sit out their lead. Either that or St. Louis decided it was time to play. Jeff Carter looks like he might of overslept. He couldn’t corral a centering pass in the opening period that left nothing but open ice between him and goalie Brian Elliott, and he’s made some stretch passes that looked like he forgot what team he was on. This is his third team in 10 months, so maybe that was the case. Slava Voynov took L.A.’s first shot on net 8:19 into the period, and the Kings didn’t get another until Anze Kopitar’s weak backhand went straight into Elliott’s pad with 1:25 left in the period. Kopitar had the option of taking a hard wrister from the right faceoff circle or passing to Dustin Brown on his left, but did neither. The other shot on goal came from 76 feet out by Trevor Lewis as time expired.
The in between: The Kings are holding their own in most areas. They’re 19-17 in the faceoff circle, led by Kopitar at 7-4. They’ve been out-hit, 35-33, and have nine giveaways, compared to five for the Blues.