|Date of game: 5/24/2014
Recap: Los Angeles vs. Chicago
Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Jeff Carter posted a goal and two assists and the Los Angeles Kings grabbed a 4-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3 of this Western Conference finals series.
After scoring six straight to win Game 2 by a 6-2 decision, the Kings lit the lamp three straight times after falling behind, 2-1, in this game to take a 2-1 lead in this best-of-seven series.
"Two-to-one series against the defending Stanley Cup Champs, I don't think there's taking control of a series," said Los Angeles forward Dustin Brown. "I think that both teams have shown that they are able to battle adversity. This is a team that was down last year and found a way to come back, so we did what we wanted tonight and got the lead in the series. Now it's about resetting and reloading. We're up in the series, we have to keep going up."
Drew Doughty had a goal and an assist, while Slava Voynov and Tyler Toffoli also scored for the Kings, who can take a stranglehold in this series when they host Game 4 on Monday night.
Carter, who notched a third-period hat trick in Game 2, scored the tying goal in this game and set up the go-ahead goal. He now has four goals and four assists in the first three games of this series.
Jonathan Quick stopped 24 shots in the win.
Jonathan Toews scored two goals, while Corey Crawford allowed all four goals on 32 shots for the Blackhawks, who went 0-for-4 on the power play in this contest.
"We played well but we didn't get the result we wanted tonight," said Toews. "We'll keep improving and move on to the next one. There is no time for getting discouraged and frustrated. We know we can keep pushing it to that next level and that is what it's going to take against these guys. Clearly they want it badly and are playing really hard. For us I think it's just a matter of continuing that effort that we started with in the first period."
Los Angeles was awarded the first power play of this game when Michal Handzus was whistled for concealing the puck at 4:40, but it was Chicago that got the first goal of the game.
After a neutral zone faceoff near the Chicago end, Justin Williams had the puck taken off him by Toews, who raced down the left wing and faked a slap shot before slipping the puck between the pads of Quick at 5:26.
Los Angeles, though, still had time left on the advantage and used it to tie the game. Carter had the puck along the boards to the left of the net and sent a backhand pass out front. Marian Gaborik whiffed on the one-timer, but the disc slid to the stick of Voynov in the high slot and he waited a second before blasting a shot into the net at 6:19.
The Blackhawks, though, took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission on Toews' second of the game as Michal Rozsival sent a shot on net that saw the puck bounce to the right. Toews kicked it to his stick and chipped it in for his eighth of the playoffs at 13:19.
Los Angeles tied the game at 8:08 of the second period on Carter's eighth of the playoffs. Tanner Pearson fought for the puck behind the net and sent a pass to the front where Carter one-timed it in.
The Kings took their first lead of the game six minutes later after a neutral zone turnover saw Carter chip the puck through the middle and behind the defense. Toffoli caught up to the puck and went backhand to forehand before sliding it in for his sixth of the playoffs and a 3-2 lead.
"Getting pucks deep and getting lots of pucks to the net and creating traffic, you can't score goals unless you get the puck on net and drive to the net," said Toffoli. "If you look at our goals tonight, it's cut into our system and we're executing well right now."
Quick stopped 10 shots in the second frame and helped Los Angeles kill off two penalties to keep the lead.
It was a 4-2 game with 8:03 to play after a left circle faceoff win by Williams saw the puck come back to the left point and Jake Muzzin fire it over to the right point for Doughty, who blasted a shot from the top of the circle with Dwight King providing a screen.
Chicago pulled Crawford with over two minutes to play and was able to make it a one-goal game when Patrick Sharp chipped it in from the right side.
The goal, though, came with just 4.2 seconds showing on the clock and Chicago was unable to get another shot on net before time expired.Game Notes
The Kings were 1-for-3 on the power play ...Carter has 19 points in the
postseason, one behind teammate Anze Kopitar for tops in the league ... This
series marks the first time two teams are meeting in the Western finals in
back-to-back years since the Stars/Avalanche in 1999-2000. Chicago won last
year's conference finals matchup with the Kings in five games.