Menu

Basketball

Low scores, high stakes: St. Louis, LA Kings playing tenacious defense in tight series

  • 2c79c0ec174cf40f300f6a706700a6b2.jpg

    Los Angeles Kings' Kyle Clifford, center, celebrates a goal by Slava Voynov, of Russia, during the second period in Game 3 of a first-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series against the St. Louis Blues in Los Angeles, Saturday, May 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)The Associated Press

  • d53b873c1774f50f300f6a7067008d46.jpg

    The Los Angeles Kings celebrate their team's 1-0 win against the St. Louis Blues after Game 3 of a first-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series in Los Angeles, Saturday, May 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)The Associated Press

  • fc14188a1738f30f300f6a7067006d3c.jpg

    St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliott, center, looks at the puck during the second period in Game 3 of a first-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series against the Los Angeles Kings in Los Angeles, Saturday, May 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)The Associated Press

  • 895cc15e170ff30f300f6a706700b5db.jpg

    St. Louis Blues' David Backes skates during the first period in Game 3 of a first-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series against the Los Angeles Kings in Los Angeles, Saturday, May 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)The Associated Press

  • 1b28001c1729f30f300f6a706700e08e.jpg

    Los Angeles Kings' Slava Voynov (26), of Russia, celebrates his goal with teammates during the second period in Game 3 of a first-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series against the St. Louis Blues in Los Angeles, Saturday, May 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)The Associated Press

Three games into the Los Angeles Kings' tremendously tense playoff series with the St. Louis Blues, it's clear the scores are so low because the stakes are so high.

Fourth-seeded St. Louis' imposing defense has allowed only three goals, outmuscling the Kings' talented forwards and limiting their chances. The Blues are desperate to win just their second playoff series since 2002, and their play in front of Brian Elliott has reflected it.

But the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings have yielded just four goals, with Jonathan Quick posting a shutout in Game 3 to trim the Blues' series lead to 2-1. Los Angeles has nearly the same roster as last season's Cup-winning team, and the Kings are determined to show they weren't a fluke.

Game 4 is Monday night.