It's happened only eight times in 19 years, but the Los Angeles Kings
are a solid 60-minute effort away from becoming No. 9.
Thanks to a 41-save performance from Jonathan Quick
and another tremendous effort from team captain Dustin Brown
, the Kings -- who haven't won a playoff series since 2001 -- took a 3-0 lead on the Vancouver Canucks
in their Western Conference Quarterfinal with a 1-0 win at the Staples Center on Sunday night.
Goalie - LAK
GAA: 1.33 | SVP: 0.965
Only eight teams that finished eighth in the conference have managed to knock off a No. 1 seed since the National Hockey League adopted the format in 1993. But the Kings, who didn't even know they were playing the Canucks until the final night of the regular season, can eliminate the Canucks with another victory in Game 4 on Wednesday night in Los Angeles.
Vancouver's special teams have struggled in this series, as the Canucks clearly miss injured winger Daniel Sedin
. Vancouver went 0-for-4 on the power play Sunday night and is now 0-for-14 in the series.
Los Angeles, meanwhile, treated its fans to something they hadn't seen in quite some time -- a playoff victory on home ice. With Sunday's win, the Kings snapped a five-game playoff skid at Staples Center.
A long time coming
-- Fifteen years since their last playoff victory, the Florida Panthers
had reason to celebrate after Sunday's 4-2 win against the New Jersey Devils
in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal at the BankAtlantic Center.
When Tomas Fleischmann
scored an empty-net goal in the game's final second, it sealed Florida's first postseason win since a 3-0 triumph against the New York Rangers
on April 17, 1997 -- a span of 5,478 days.
Sunday's win didn't come easily for the Panthers. The club held a 3-0 lead, but the Devils scored twice in the third period and nearly tied it with just under 10 seconds to go before Fleischmann's tally helped Florida even the best-of-seven series at one game apiece.
It's probably a good thing Florida won Sunday, too -- New Jersey is 10-0 all-time when it wins the first two games of a playoff series.
Fleury of goals
-- What's happened to Marc-Andre Fleury
Goalie - PIT
GAA: 6.34 | SVP: 0.798
Easily one of the top goaltenders in the League during the regular season, the Pittsburgh Penguins
' netminder has struggled mightily against the Philadelphia Flyers
and was pulled after allowing six goals on 28 shots in the first two periods of Sunday's 8-4 loss at Wells Fargo Center.
Fleury won 42 games during the regular season while boasting a 2.36 goals-against average and .913 save percentage. But, in three appearances in the playoffs, he has a 6.34 GAA and .798 save percentage.
Seventh time's a charm --
The Nashville Predators
finally won a playoff game at Joe Louis Arena on Sunday.
After going winless in their first six postseason games in Detroit, the Predators squeaked out a 3-2 victory against the Red Wings in Game 3 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. Nashville now has a 2-1 lead in this best-of-seven series, with Game 4 to be played in Motown on Tuesday.
The Preds also finally experienced some success on the power play against the Wings. Nashville was 0-for-12 with the man advantage in the series before captain Shea Weber
found the back of the net 2:48 into Sunday's contest.
Follow Brian Compton on Twitter: @BComptonNHL