How sweep it is! Kings headed to West finals

Dustin Brown scored the go-ahead goal and then sealed the win with an empty-netter as the Los Angeles Kings defeated the St. Louis Blues, 3-1, in Game 4 to complete the series sweep of the Western Conference semifinals.

The Kings advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 1993 with their first sweep of a seven-game series in franchise history.

They will face either the Phoenix Coyotes or Nashville Predators.

Jordan Nolan also scored, while Jonathan Quick made 23 saves for Los Angeles, which became the first eighth seed to eliminate a No. 1 and a No. 2 in the same playoff year.

"We didn't want to play another game in St. Louis and we're happy to be moving on," Kings forward Justin Williams said. "We now have a sense of belonging. We deserve to be here."

Brian Elliott stopped 16-of-18 shots for St. Louis, which was last swept by Vancouver in the 2009 quarterfinals.

Kevin Shattenkirk netted the lone goal for the Blues.

Los Angeles failed to convert on an early power play when the Blues' Chris Stewart was whistled for tripping 2:06 into the game, but the Kings were able to get on the board soon after the man advantage expired when a St. Louis turnover in the defensive zone led to the puck dribbling into the slot and Nolan one-timed it past Elliott.

The Blues, though, were able to knot the game at the 11:34 mark of the first period on Shattenkirk's slap shot from the top of the right circle that sailed past Quick stick side, bounced off the far post and into the net.

The Kings missed a chance to regain the lead when Brown fanned on a shot while staring at an open net moments later, but after St. Louis could not capitalize on a late power play, Brown made up for his missed opportunity by receiving a pass in the neutral zone and racing down the left side of the ice before firing a wrister from the left circle into the top-right corner with 1:43 left in the first to give Los Angeles a 2-1 lead.

Los Angeles was awarded an early power play in the second period, but a too many men on the ice penalty partially negated the man advantage.

The Kings' Drew Doughty was then called for interference with one second remaining on the Blues' shortened power play to give St. Louis another chance to net the equalizer.

However, David Backes was whistled for elbowing just 10 seconds later to erase the opportunity.

St. Louis controlled the majority of action from there, outshooting the Kings by a mark of 13-2 in the second period, but Quick stopped every shot that came his way to keep it a 2-1 game heading into the third period.

The Blues continued to apply pressure in the third, but their momentum was halted when Scott Nichol was called for a high sticking double-minor eight minutes into the frame.

Los Angeles squandered the chance to score an insurance goal, though, as Jarret Stoll went to the penalty box for high sticking a minute and a half into the power play.

A sprawling glove save by Quick on Alex Pietrangelo kept the puck from sliding across the goal line during the ensuing 4-on-4, and the Kings opted to play for puck possession the remainder of the game.

The Blues were not able to pull Elliott for an extra attacker until there was less than a minute remaining in the contest after an extended offensive series by Los Angeles, but he would not be out of the net for long as Anze Kopitar gathered the puck in his own zone and skated through center ice before giving it up to Brown and he fired it into the open net with 26 seconds left to seal the win for the Kings.

"They played as a cohesive unit and we played like no one was on the same page. If we played the whole series like the second period, a different story would be written about this series," Backes said.

Game Notes

The Kings improved to 10-7 all-time when they have an opportunity to clinch a series...Los Angeles joins the 2010 Montreal Canadiens and 2006 Edmonton Oilers as the only eight seeds to advance past the second round...This was the third meeting between the teams in the postseason, with St. Louis recording a sweep in the past two meetings in 1998 and 1969...Kopitar assisted on both of Brown's goals.