Jonathan Quick is getting hot at the right time, and his Los Angeles Kings are back in the conference semifinals.
Thanks to 21 saves from Quick and a Dustin Penner goal with just 0.2 seconds left in the second period, the Kings advanced with a 2-1 win over the St. Louis Blues in Game 6 of this Western Conference quarterfinal series.
Last year's Conn Smythe winner for guiding the Kings to their first Stanley Cup championship, Quick allowed just 10 goals in this series on 177 shots for the fifth-seeded Kings.
"We were down two games, but we learned from last year and we had a sense of confidence," said Quick. "We caught some breaks and right now we have our legs underneath us."
Drew Doughty notched the other marker for Los Angeles, which swept St. Louis in the conference semis last season.
Chris Porter had the lone goal while Brian Elliott gave up both goals on 16 shots for the Blues, who had won the first two games of this series before dropping the final four.
"Story of the series was we missed opportunities and you can't miss opportunities," said St. Louis head coach Ken Hitchcock. "You can't blame Elliott for this at all. We took everything to the beach, but we couldn't put it in the water."
With just seconds on the clock, Penner picked up the puck in the neutral zone and circled around before skating into the St. Louis end down the left wing. From the point, he slapped a shot on net that tipped off the stick of Roman Polak, hit off the post and found the back of the net with 0.2 seconds left.
"We got a fortunate break with that one," said Penner. "They turned it over in the neutral zone and the bench was yelling for me to shoot. I got it in on a deflection and caught a break."
The goal was reviewed to determine if the puck crossed the line before time expired, and it was deemed a good goal for a 2-1 lead.
Halfway through the third period, Quick preserved the lead by making a nice stop on Patrik Berglund down low and Berglund shot his own rebound attempt wide of the net.
Another flurry with just over six minutes to play saw Quick keep the puck out of the net, and, with Elliott pulled late for an extra attacker, a Jay Bouwmeester shot was deflected on net and hit off the post to stay out.
That was the last chance for the Blues, as time wound down to end their season.
The first goal of the game went to the Kings at the 12:37 mark of the first period as Doughty beat Elliott to the short side with a wrister from the left wing for his first of the playoffs.
St. Louis tied the game at 4:39 of the second period after a big slap shot from Polak at the right point was tipped in by Porter.
Each game in this series was decided by one goal ... St. Louis has lost its last eight elimination games ... This was the fourth playoff series between these two clubs, with each team winning twice ... Both teams went 0-for-1 on the power play.