They say you need secondary scoring to win in the playoffs – and the Kings are certainly getting that at that moment. Saturday night in St. Louis, LA’s first goal came from Slava Voynov (his first NHL post-season goal and the first one by a Kings rookie defenseman since Alex Zhitnik in 1993). That tied the game, after David Backes had put the Blues on top earlier in the first period. Matt Greene became just the second Kings dman ever to score a short-handed goal in the playoffs when he made 2-1 (Rob Blake did it in 1993). Greene pounced on a juicy rebound left at the doorstep of the crease after Dustin Brown brought the puck in and fired a shot on Brian Elliott. It was Greene’s first ever post-season goal (something we talked about here just a few days ago).
With time winding down in regulation and Elliott on the bench, Dustin Penner decided to show off his billiard skills and played the puck off the boards. His bank shot went in and the Kings sealed the victory 3-1. They now lead the series 1-0.
Other stats worth noting – shots were tied 29-29, LA out hit St. Louis 26-24 and the Blues blocked 23 shots to the Kings 12. Anze Kopitar led the way with five shots on goal, followed by Jeff Carter (who reached his all important number of at least four, explained here). Jarret Stoll led all skaters in the game with five hits, Dustin Brown was second with four. In the faceoff circle, the Blues won 56% of the draws overall. Kopitar was 11-of-16 (69%) and Stoll was an uncharacteristically low 5-of-16 (31%).
Before heading back to the hotel after their big win, here’s what a few of the Kings had to say back in the locker room…
Also, if you missed the MayorsManor round two preview show, take a look at just a portion of the guest line-up – Luc Robitaille, Rob Blake, Ian Laperriere, Bob Miller, Ted Irvine, plus comments from Carter, Stoll and Greene. Catch the free replay here. There were lots of great stories about the Kings and Blues from the past, plus some predictions about this year’s series.