Kings of the West: Series Spotlight
Canucks and Kings
What the Los Angeles Kings accomplished in the first three games of a series against the No. 1 ranked Vancouver Canucks may or may not be enough to throw off a Western Conference front runner. But they certainly made taking a three game lead over the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 President’s Trophy winners look interesting.
Knocked out by the San Jose Sharks last post-season after a forced game six, the Kings fought for that number eight spot. Led by Captain Dustin Brown and supported by the goal tending of Dustin Brown, the young team made some late acquisitions around the trade deadline and structured to make a go of the playoffs.
Game One: Kings 4, Canucks 2
The first two games in Vancouver finished with the same score, the Kings cashing in on two power plays goals for their first two tallies of the series. It was Alex Burrows for Vancouver that struck first, 4:17 into the first.
Despite the Canucks out shooting 12-10 in the third, a double dose of Dustin finished off game 1 with goals from Dustin Penner and the empty net off the stick of Dustin Brown.
Game Two: Kings 4, Canucks 2
The offense in Game two started off with a shorthander coming from Dustin Brown with just seconds to go in the first. The Canucks almost doubly outshot their opponent in Games 2 (48-26) and Game 3 (41-20). However, another strong third period for the the Kings sealed the win.
Game Three: Kings 1, Canucks 0
Two wins on the road brought the Kings home with a ready advantage. After a scoreless first two periods, Captain Dustin Brown landed a puck behind Cory Schneider who started in net for the Canucks for the first time in this series. Schneider made 19 saves on 20 shots and paired with Jonathan Quick’s perfect 41 displayed a sample of strong post-season goal-tending.
Dustin Brown has notched 4 goals and one assist in the first three games including the only goal in game three.
He is also near the top of the league in post season +/- and goals scored.
Jonathan Quick‘s .965 save percentage and 1.33 goals against average are hard to ignore, placing him at the number one spot in playoff goaltending.
Last year’s MVP Candidate Ryan Kesler has been pretty quiet in this series with only two assists so far. That plus playing without Daniel Sedin has seemed to have an effect so far.
Dustin Brown was quoted on NHL.com as saying that it takes four games to win. The LA Kings may have gone against expectations in capturing the first three without needed any overtime periods, but that last win is always the hardest.
They have the support of a Game 4 at home at the Staples Center. The match up is Wednesday, April 18 at 10:00 pm.
If needed the remaining match ups will be:
LA at Vancouver April 22
Vancouver at LA April 24
LA at Vancouver April 26