The defending Stanley Cup Champs made the first step towards a repeat on Friday night as they used home ice to win their 4th straight game and eliminate the very tough St.Louis Blues 2-1.
The series was about as close as you could get, with every game being decided by one goal and only once did a team have a two goal lead, and that lasted a mere 5 minutes.
After winning game 5 with the first road win in the Series, the Kings came home with what would be their only chance to end the series on home ice. Drew Doughty opened the scoring 12:37 into the first, when Colin Fraser carried the puck into the Blues’ zone, and dropped it to the defenseman who joined the rush. After a quick fake shot made the Blues defense and goalie flinch, Doughty wired a snap shot top corner to give the Kings a 1-0 lead.
Before the second was 5 minutes old, the game was tied as just after a Blues’ power play had expired, Roman Polak‘s point shot went in off Kevin Porter past Jonathan Quick. That is how it remained until the dying seconds of the period when Dustin Penner picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone and carried it in to the St. Louis end. With time ticking down he wired a slap shot that beat Elliott, just as the buzzer sounded to end the period. Upon review, the puck crossed the line with 0.3 seconds left on the clock. The Kings went to the dressing room with a 2-1 lead and 20 minutes from advancing to the second round.
The third period saw LA hang on, mustering only 3 shots, but allowing only 8, all of which were stopped by Quick.The Kings took game 6 2-1 and the series 4-2.
It was certainly a series that will be remembered for its physicality, and a couple of early goaltending gaffes by Quick that gave the Blues the 2-0 series lead. After that, Quick was great and didn’t allow any more goals that were not earned by the Blues. Brian Elliott was his equal at the other end for the most part, but the short-side goals did him in in this series.
LA will play the Ducks if they beat Detroit, or the Sharks should the Wings beat the Ducks. Either way it will be a battle of California in round two.