Coming in to Game 3 there was a heavy burden on the shoulders of the LA Kings. Their home record was perfect, their performance in this series was anything but. Down 2-0 on 2 road loses, the Kings returned to the comforts of home ice in a must win game, trying to right the ship. Thanks to a rebound performance by Jonathan Quick, they were able to do just that.
3 Minutes would be all the LA Kings needed to get their feet back under them. With Corey Crawford making an initial save the puck kicked out to the always dangerous Slava Voynov at the point. Voynov would feed a hard pass to Justin Williams alone in the slot. Not quite a one-timer, but a beautiful corral and drag from Williams beats Crawford and it’s 1-0 LA, early. Williams, notorious for his game 7 heroics, was clearly getting under the skin of Blackhawks players early. With less than a minute remaining in the first Drew Doughty would fool everyone but the post with a shot. The goal light would come on, but it was no goal and the 1-0 carries over to the second.
Remember a few lines ago how I said Slava Voynov was always dangerous? You may not hear about him often because he’s in the west, but he is a dazzling player to watch. Just over 5 into the second period a Tyler Toffoli chance in front of the Hawks net squeaks clear of the scrum and finds its way on to the stick of a pinching Voynov. Voynov decides the stick looks better in two pieces and blasts a shot passed Crawford making the score equivalent to the pieces of his stick on the ice versus in his hands, 2-0.
Midway through the period there was a weird slashing/high sticking incident with Duncan Keith and Jeff Carter. Keith, reaches for a glove on the ice and gets his hand slashed by Carter. He immediately reacts by lifting his own stick and catching Carter in the mouth. It’s 4 minutes for Keith, nothing for Carter, in just a very weird exchange. With less than a minute to go in the period a faceoff win finds Bryan Bickell pulling behind the net all alone and on a semi-wrap around he whips the puck passed Quick, and heading into the third, it”s 2-1.
Jonathan Quick would be absolutely stellar in the third period stopping a flurry of quality chances. The score would stay that when until the final minute of the third with Dwight King potting the empty netter, making this 3-1 for the Kings, and bringing the Kings within 1 in the series. Blackhawks still lead 2-1.
SENSHOT 3 STARS
1 – Slava Voynov
2 – Jonathan Quick
3 – Bryan Bickell