Three key aspects of the Kings’ 4-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils...
1. MOMENTUM-TURNING PENALTY KILL
The Kings looked to be in big trouble when Jeff Carter took a double-minor high-sticking penalty with 4:24 remaining in the first period. New Jersey would have four more minutes of power-play time, including one-minute of 5-on-3 play. The Devils recorded only one shot on goal as the Kings killed the two-man advantage, then got two minutes of 4-on-4 play when Mike Richards drew a tripping penalty. With the score at 0-0 after the first period, the Kings had to feel relieved, and they turned the tables with two second-period goals. Once again, the penalty kill was stellar overall, as the Kings killed 9 minutes, 1 second, of power-play time and allowed three shots on goal.
2. QUICK LOCKS IT DOWN AGAIN
Jarret Stoll made a nice pass. Dwight King took the shot and kept the puck alive by poking at the rebound. Alec Martinez crashed the net and scored to give the Kings a 1-0 lead in the second period. But rewind the video about 30 seconds, and watch Jonathan Quick make a point-blank save on David Clarkson. If that puck goes in, the Devils take the lead and it’s probably a different game. Quick was stellar. He faced pressure early, as the Devils tried to get in his face, work the puck laterally and then play for deflections in front, but he looked steady and composed throughout the game as he made 22 saves and set a franchise record with his third shutout of these playoffs.
3. POWER-PLAY BREAKTHROUGH
Leading 2-0 in the third period, the Kings had the cannon loaded, but would it misfire again? The Kings got their first power play of the game 3:29 into the period, and it’s safe to say that hopes weren’t exactly high inside STAPLES Center, given that the Kings had gone five consecutive games without a power-play goal. There was probably as much surprise as joy when Jeff Carter took a centering pass from Mike Richards and scored 46 seconds into the power play. Surprise and joy turned into delirium when, just more than two minutes later, the Kings scored again on the power play when Justin Williams followed his own shot. When the Kings score twice on the power play, things are really going well.