Kukla's Korner Hockey
Jarret Stoll with the OT winner, Kings win 2-1 and win the series 4-1.
Western Conference Semi-Finals picture…
St. Lous Blues/Los Angeles Kings
Phoenix Coyotes or Chicago Blackhawks/Nashville Predators (Nashville will have home ice if they face Chicago)
added 11:06pm, Added Stoll OT goal…
added 11:15pm, Game highlights are below…
from Lisa Dillman of the LA Times,
If you don’t like the personality of Kings Coach Darryl Sutter, then simply wait five minutes for the cold front to swirl out the door….
Sutter was at his contrarian and charming best Thursday, all within about an hour on the day after the Kings’ first stumble in the playoffs this season, a 3-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks. In between there was some vintage, “sarcastic-ness,” a word invented by defenseman Drew Doughty the other day, in an effort to explain Sutter’s impact.
The Kings hold a 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven series against the Canucks. Game 5 is scheduled for Sunday in Vancouver but a start time has not been announced by the league….
“It’s only the Stanley Cup playoffs, only Game 5,” Sutter said. “But we don’t know what time we’re playing Sunday. And we have to set travel and practice plans. I hope it’s not interfering with anything else.”
Kevin Bieksa scored the game winner midway in the 2nd period and the Canucks would add an insurance goal to defeat the LA Kings 3-1.
Here is Bieksa’s goal.
from Rich Hammond at the LA Kings website,
Two years ago, a lot of zeros boarded the Kings’ flight to Vancouver for the start of the playoffs.
Dustin Brown: zero career playoff games. Drew Doughty: zero career playoff games. Anze Kopitar: zero career playoff games. Jonathan Quick: zero career playoff games. A quartet of young players, the core that had led the Kings to the playoffs for the first time in eight years, suddenly found itself on unfamiliar turf.
If experience is the best teacher, these Kings have been well-schooled. Back-to-back years of first-round playoff exits, coupled with the addition of some postseason-tested players, have put the Kings in a position to do what they couldn’t do in 2010: pull an upset of the highly-favored Vancouver Canucks.
The Kings lead 3-0 in the best-of-seven series heading into tonight’s Game 4 at STAPLES Center. If the Kings are able to win the series, it will be a big moment for a team that has been trying to take the next step since president/general manager Dean Lombardi began his slow, steady rebuilding project in 2006.
Of the 20 players who are expected to suit up tonight for the Kings, 10 have never won an NHL playoff series. The best players, and best teams, reveal themselves in the postseason, and the Kings know that only by winning in the playoffs can they truly validate their progress over the past few years.
The LA Kings defeated the Vancouver Canucks to take a 3-0 lead in the series.
Dustin Brown scored the only goal of the game in the 3rd period.
Here comes Dustin Brown.
added 1:07am, Watch the extended version below…
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Just in case the Vancouver Canucks needed any reminding about which team was dealing with the most pressure in their opening-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Kings, defenceman Drew Doughty helpfully pointed it out early Saturday afternoon.
“They’ve got a ton of pressure,” said Doughty, “especially being in a market like Vancouver. They came in first (and) they’re expected to go all the way to the Cup final again, but we’re obviously the team that wants to stop them from doing that.”
Then there was this observation from Kings’ captain Dustin Brown, who freely conceded that the burden is far greater on the President’s Trophy-winning Canucks than the upstart Angelenos, who won twice on the road to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference semi-final series.
“They have to deal with a lot more than we have to deal with, just given the locale and the mentality there,” said Brown. “I mean, it’s Canada. So that’s a heavy weight.”
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
Over the last 40 or so springtimes, Vancouver Canucks’ fans have been preconditioned to expect a certain amount of unpleasantness and as they contemplated their team’s prospects in 2012, they were likely aware further trials awaited.
But this? This? Even in their darkest moment, the most tortured member of the faithful couldn’t have conceived of this.
Friday night, the two-time Presidents Trophy winners dropped a 4-2 decision on home ice to the L.A. Kings, largely because they surrendered two shorthanded goals on plays so amateurish, so monumentally dim-witted, they beggared belief.
But believe this. Following the loss, which featured two shorties for noted sniper Dustin Brown, the Canucks now trail the Western Conference quarterfinal 2-0 with Games 3 and 4 set for L.A.
That isn’t a hole. It’s the Mariana Trench. And while they were saying all the right things afterwards, the plain fact is they’ve got to beat the Kings in four of the next five with three of those games set for the Staples Centre.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
The Los Angeles Kings have apologized for a flippant tweet from their official Twitter feed that mocked the Vancouver Canucks.
“We encourage our digital team to be creative, interactive and to apply a sense of humour whenever possible. To anyone who found it offensive we sincerely apologize,” Mike Altieri, the Kings’ vice-president, communications and content, said in an e-mail message Thursday afternoon.
Vancouver Canucks right wing Byron Bitz will face a disciplinary hearing with the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety Thursday.
The hearing regards a boarding major Bitz received Wednesday night in Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against Los Angeles when Bitz hit L.A.‘s Kyle Clifford at 12:12 of the second period. Bitz was also assessed a game misconduct on the play.
Watch the hit here if you missed it earlier.
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