Kings Shut Out Devils, Inch Toward First Stanley Cup
The Los Angeles Kings shut out the New Jersey Devils, 4-0, in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals. L.A. now holds a commanding 3-0 lead for the fourth straight series and will have the opportunity to clinch its first franchise championship on home ice Wednesday night.
Anze Kopitar scored 15:07 into the second period with assists from Dustin Brown and Justin Williams. It was Kopitar’s third goal in four games. At the second intermission, the Kings led the Devils 2-0.
The Kings continued their dominance with two power play goals. First, Jeff Carter scored just 4:15 into the third period with assists from Mike Richards and Willie Mitchell. Leading 3-0, L.A. struck again with a goal by Justin Williams, also on a power play. Williams’ goal came with assists from Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar.
Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick made 22 saves in Monday night’s duel and recorded his third shutout of the postseason. Quick has allowed only 24 goals in 17 games during the 2012 postseason, including just two goals in the first three games of the Stanley Cup finals.
The Devils were unable to contain the fierce Kings attack despite dominating early in the first period. Overall the Kings outplayed the Devils in nearly every category including goaltender, where Quick stopped six power play opportunities. Now the Kings are one victory away from winning the cup and becoming the first eighth-seeded team to do so.
In order to keep its cup dreams alive, New Jersey must undertake its fourth comeback this postseason. If completed, it will garner the third title for the franchise. A victory for New Jersey in Game 4 may not be too far-fetched for the Devils. The Kings neither eliminated the Vancouver Canucks nor the Phoenix Coyotes in Game 4 close-out games in Los Angeles.
Don’t forget that the Devils did force Games 1 and 2 into overtime. It would not be surprising if Game 4 gave the Kings some trouble. If the Kings allow too many power play opportunities for the Devils, like in Game 3, the series may be extended.
Excluding Game 3, L.A. was 6 for 77 from the power play this postseason. Though in Game 3, the Kings capitalized on their only two power play opportunities with two goals in the third.
The Kings will host the Devils for Game 4 at the Staples Center Wednesday night at 5 p.m. PT on NBC Sports Network.