May 5, 2012, 12:50 AM EDT
On Sunday, the Los Angeles Kings will host the St. Louis Blues in Game 4 of their Western Conference semifinal (12:30 pm ET, NBC). The Kings lead the series 3-0; here’s a look at recent history between the two clubs.
Los Angeles won season series 3-1
Oct. 18: At Los Angeles 5, St. Louis 0
Nov. 22: Los Angeles 3, at St. Louis 2
Feb. 3: At St. Louis 1, Los Angeles 0
Mar. 22: At Los Angeles 1, St. Louis 0, SO
Game 1: Los Angeles 3, St. Louis 1
How bad have the St. Louis Blues been in this series? Well, David Backes scored the first goal of the series at 9:16 of the first period and Slava Voynov tied the game 7:52 minutes later. That is the only length of time that the Blues have ever had the lead in this entire series.
Brian Elliott has taken some heat for his play in this series, but he held his own in Game 1. However, things only went downhill from here for the Blues…
Game 2: Los Angeles 5, St. Louis 2
This is the first time in the playoffs that Jaroslav Halak’s ankle injury became a big problem for the Blues. Elliott allowed four goals on 16 shots in the first period.
Under normal circumstances, that’s bad enough to warrant a goaltender swap. Even if you want to argue that, given how one-sided the first period was, Elliott doesn’t deserve all of the blame, switching netminders might have sparked the team. However, with Halak gone, the Blues had no alternative with NHL experience.
Goaltender Jake Allen actually did end up getting a bit of time between the pipes, but it was a mere 1:07 minute cameo and he didn’t face a single shot on goal.
St. Louis did significantly better over the final 40 minutes, but they couldn’t get much by Jonathan Quick. With that, the Kings improved to 5-0 on the road in the 2012 playoffs.
Game 3: Los Angeles 4, St. Louis 2
For a team already down 2-0 in the series, the Blues couldn’t get much done in this game. They only managed four shots over the first 20 minutes and it was the Kings’ Justin Williams who scored the first goal of the game.
The Blues were beaten in almost every conceivable way as the Los Angeles Kings established their second straight 3-0 series lead.
The Kings got help from unlikely sources, including Dwight King, who netted his first goal of the postseason. However, a number of their best players, including Mike Richards, Anze Kopitar, and Drew Doughty carried the brunt of the load.
Quick only needed to stop 18 shots to earn his fourth straight victory. He has allowed three or more goals in just one start in the Kings’ postseason run.
St. Louis: Jaroslav Halak (ankle), Jason Arnott (lower body)
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