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LA Kings open up 3-1 lead in Western Conference Finals over Blackhawks

By Ian Sacks,

The Los Angeles Kings’ offensive prowess continues to shine in the Western Conference Finals as they pummeled the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2, taking a commanding 3-1 lead in the series.

The Kings have now won three straight games after dropping the opener on the road. Over the course of those three games, the offense has produced a total of 15 goals.

Defenseman Jake Muzzin got the scoring started with a power-play goal nine minutes into the contest.

Two minutes later, right wing Marián Gáborík netted his 10th goal of the postseason. Right wing Dustin Brown made the score 3-0 with a goal late in the first on another power play.

“We knew this was a huge game,” Muzzin told LA Kings Insider after the game. “We didn’t want to go 2-2 and have it a best-of-three. We came out with a good start, getting pucks to the net, and we got a couple quick ones early.”

Los Angeles expanded the lead to four goals with a shot off the stick of defenseman Drew Doughty in the second period.

The Blackhawks finally got on the scoreboard when left wing Brandon Saad found the back of the net with just under six minutes left in the second period. Left Wing Bryan Bickell pulled Chicago within two with a goal midway through the third period.

Los Angeles put the game out of reach when left wing Tanner Pearson made an empty-net goal with 1:02 left in the game.

Kings goalie Jonathan Quick made 22 saves on 24 shot attempts, according to ESPN.

The Kings will look to punch their ticket to the Stanley Cup Finals on Wednesday night in Chicago.

“We have to expect that they’re going to come out with their best,” Muzzin said. “They play well in that barn and their backs are against the wall.”

 
 

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