Jonathan Quick made 41 saves, Dustin Brown scored on a long rebound with 13:30 to play, and the eighth-seeded Los Angeles Kings pushed the Vancouver Canucks to the brink of elimination with a 1-0 victory in Game 3 on Sunday night.
Brown's fourth goal of a stellar series put the Kings one win away from their first playoff series victory since 2001. He also put the two-time Presidents' Trophy-winning Canucks on the edge of a shocking playoff departure.
Quick hung on for his second career playoff shutout after setting a club record with 10 in the regular season, and the Kings snapped a five-game playoff losing streak at Staples Center in front of a sellout crowd starved for playoff success.
Game 4 is Wednesday night.
Cory Schneider made 19 saves in his first start of the postseason for Vancouver, but also gave up a rebound of Justin Williams' shot leading to Brown's goal. Despite a huge shots advantage, the Canucks failed to score on four power plays, dropping to 0 for 14 in the series.
Vancouver has lost seven of its last eight postseason games since taking a 2-0 lead in last summer's Stanley Cup finals.
After barely making the playoffs and blowing the Pacific Division title in the final week of the regular season, the eighth-seeded Kings stunned the defending Western Conference champions with two 4-2 victories in Vancouver last week. Los Angeles took a 2-0 lead in a seven-game playoff series for the first time since the Second Six franchise's debut season in 1968.
Vancouver largely controlled the first two periods before the Kings got some flow in the third. Anze Kopitar set up the goal with a sharp drop pass to Williams, whose vicious shot that bounced off Schneider's pads straight to Brown.
Los Angeles had a power play for the final 1:35 of regulation, but the Canucks pulled Schneider anyway. Quick beat his stick on the goalposts after the final buzzer sounded.
Brown's goal adds another chapter to his remarkable late-season run ever since he was prominently mentioned in trade-deadline rumors. The captain scored two short-handed goals in Game 2, and he also delivered biggest hit of Game 3 when he flattened Vancouver captain Henrik Sedin near the Canucks' bench in the second period with an apparently legal shoulder blow.
Canucks coach Alain Vigneault switched goalies for Game 3, benching veteran Roberto Luongo in favor of Schneider's second career playoff start. The change made only a slight difference, but Vancouver still misses leading goal-scorer Daniel Sedin, who's out with an apparent concussion.
Three of the previous six Presidents' Trophy winners lost their first-round playoff series.
Until Brown connected, the Kings put on a quiet offensive performance befitting the NHL's second lowest-scoring team, managing just 11 shots in the first two periods despite six power plays.
Los Angeles hadn't won a home playoff game since beating Vancouver in Game 3 of their 2010 first-round series. The Canucks won the next three games to advance.
The Kings didn't even record a shot for more than 12 minutes, and Vancouver largely controlled the scoreless first period.
Emotions boiled when Brown steamrolled Henrik Sedin with a shoulder hit in the Canucks captain's chest early in the second period, sending Sedin crawling to the bench and sparking a fight between Anze Kopitar and Alex Burrows. The hit wasn't penalized, and Sedin returned from a brief trip to the locker room.
NOTES: The Los Angeles Lakers went to overtime to beat the Dallas Mavericks earlier Sunday, slightly delaying Staples Center's changeover from basketball to hockey. Kobe Bryant stuck around to watch the Kings with his two daughters, as did David Beckham after watching the Lakers from courtside. Will Ferrell also attended the game. ... After Vancouver's Ryan Kesler appeared to embellish a cross-checking penalty against Willie Mitchell in the second period, the Staples Center scoreboard showed the replay, followed by several clips of springboard divers. Kesler and a few Vancouver teammates have been accused of diving by numerous opponents.