The Los Angeles Kings will try to earn a fourth straight win in the Western Conference quarterfinals on Friday, as the defending Stanley Cup champions aim to end the best-of-seven series in a home Game 6 against the St. Louis Blues.
Los Angeles, which is trying to become the first team to win consecutive Stanley Cups since Detroit did it in 1997 and '98, fell behind 2-0 in this series before claiming three consecutive one-goal decisions to grab a 3-2 lead.
The Kings' first two wins of this series came in regulation, but the club needed extra time to pull off Wednesday's Game 5 triumph in St. Louis. Slava Voynov scored the winner eight minutes into overtime as L.A. took a 3-2 decision at Scottrade Center.
Justin Williams picked up the puck in his own zone and skated down the left wing before passing the disc over to Anze Kopitar just before gaining the blueline. Kopitar then took it through the middle and fed it over to his right where Voynov let fly with a low wrister that beat Brian Elliott for the victory.
"We don't get too high, we don't get too low," said Kings forward Jeff Carter. "It is a big thing for us. The goal is just pretty much a typical overtime goal. They're never real pretty: you get the puck, you shoot it. They're greasy ones."
Carter scored twice while Mike Richards added two assists for the Kings, who went 16-4 en route to winning the franchise's first championship last spring. Carter had eight goals during that run and he already has three goals in these playoffs.
Jonathan Quick, last year's Conn Smythe winner, turned away 34 shots to help Los Angeles head home for tonight's potential series-clincher.
Alexander Steen and Alex Pietrangelo each posted a goal for the Blues, who got 22 stops from Elliott. Pietrangelo's tally came with 45 seconds left in regulation to force overtime.
"I thought we played well. We had some ups and downs throughout the course of the game but for the most part I thought we played well. Els ( Brian Elliott) was stellar. We had our chances and didn't bury them," Steen said.
St. Louis is trying to avoid being eliminated by Los Angeles for a second straight season after the Kings swept the Blues out of the second round in 2012.
The Blues, who will host Game 7 on Monday if they can stave off elimination tonight, have never lost a series when holding a 2-0 lead.
L.A. had an outstanding 19-4-1 record at the Staples Center this season compared to an 8-12-4 mark on the road. The Kings also won seven straight as the host to close the regular season and last lost at home on March 23 against Vancouver.
The Blues were 14-9-1 on the road during the regular season.
This is the third all-time playoff encounter between the Kings and Blues and St. Louis had won the first two meetings before getting swept a year ago.