Los Angeles, CA – The Los Angeles Kings are one win away from the Stanley Cup Finals.
Jonathan Quick posted 18 saves and Dwight King scored the winner in the third period as the Kings took a 2-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals on Thursday.
The Kings, who beat Vancouver in five games in the quarters then swept the Blues in the semis, are now up 3-0 in this best-of-seven series. They can advance to the finals for the first time since 1993 with a win in Game 4 on Sunday afternoon.
"It's the same feeling as after the first game," said Quick. "You don't get anything for three wins. We're going to go back to work tomorrow and get ready for Game 4. We know what we have ahead of us. We know Phoenix is going to come out hard in Game 4 and we're gong to be ready."
Daymond Langkow scored the lone goal while Mike Smith made 26 saves in the loss for the Coyotes, whose first conference finals berth in team history could be a brief one.
"It was a tight game all the way through," said Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett. "We didn't create a lot, but we hung around the game, gave ourselves a chance to win. I think we're not generating enough to put any pressure on them."
The winning goal came just 1:47 into the third when King got the puck out of a scrum in the right corner and skated out to the circle before firing a shot high over the left shoulder of Smith.
"I shot it high to the glove side," said King. "The biggest goals of my career keep getting bigger. I'm just happy to be here and I'm feeling pretty good with my game right now. I dream about this and it's working out well for our team."
Quick didn't need to do too much to preserve the lead as he had to make just four saves in the final period.
His team kept up the pressure late in the game and kept the puck in Phoenix's end, forcing Smith to stay in net until late as the Kings held on for the stranglehold in the series.
The first period passed scoreless as Smith made eight saves and Quick turned aside 11.
Los Angeles nearly scored with 2 1/2 minutes left, but Smith made a stop on a left point shot then turned aside Mike Richards' rebound chance to keep the game scoreless.
Phoenix made it a 1-0 game 1:03 into the second period. Keith Yandle sent a pass from inside his zone through the middle to Langkow, who got behind the defense and snapped a shot between the pads of Quick for his first goal of the playoffs.
Los Angeles, though, tied the game two minutes later when Anze Kopitar skated in on a breakaway and slipped a backhand between the pads of Smith for his fifth of the postseason.
The Kings, who are 7-0 on the road in the playoffs, improved to 4-1 at home and have won eight consecutive playoff games overall...Quick has surrendered more than two goals just once in the playoffs, a 3-1 loss to Vancouver in Game 4 of the opening round, the only loss for Los Angeles in these playoffs. His goals against average fell to 1.41 while he has a .951 save percentage...The Coyotes fell to 4-2 on the road in the playoffs...Phoenix played the game without forward Martin Hanzal, who was handed a one-game suspension for boarding Dustin Brown in Game 2...The Kings went 0-for-5 on the power play while the Coyotes were 0-for-1...Brown had an assist in the game and now has 15 points in the playoffs, two behind Philadelphia's Claude Giroux, whose team is out of contention.