NHL Playoffs: Kings win Game 5, on verge of second finals in 3 years
LOS ANGELES — Defensemen Drew Doughty and Jake Muzzin each had a goal and an assist, and goaltender Jonathan Quick made 22 saves as the Los Angeles Kings defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 Monday in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals.
The victory gives the Kings a commanding 3-1 lead in the series with Game 5 to be played Wednesday in Chicago. A win in that game would send Los Angeles to the Stanley Cup final for the second time in three years.
The Kings powered to a 3-0 lead in the opening period. Muzzin opened the scoring at 9:13 when he beat Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford from the slot off a feed by Doughty for his fifth goal of the postseason.
Los Angeles doubled the lead on winger Marian Gaborik’s 10th goal of the playoffs at 11:13. Center Anze Kopitar stripped the puck from defenseman Duncan Keith in the Los Angeles offensive right corner. He threw a feed in front of the net that Gaborik deflected past Crawford.
Winger Dustin Brown gave Los Angeles a three-goal lead with his third goal of the playoffs on the power play at 15:56.
Los Angeles added to the margin on Doughty’s third goal of the season at 12:43 of the second period. Doughty took a snap shot from the point that eluded Crawford with heavy traffic in front.
Winger Brandon Saad got the Blackhawks to within 4-1 with his fourth goal of the playoffs at 14:03 of the second period. Saad converted a Los Angeles turnover with a backhander that beat Quick from 14 feet.
Winger Bryan Bickell scored at 9:29 of the third period to draw the Blackhawks to within two, but they could not get any closer.
Kings winger Tanner Pearson added an empty-net goal at 18:58 of the third period.
Crawford made 16 saves while losing his third consecutive start.
NOTES: Blackhawks RW Patrick Kane has not scored a goal since his OT game-winner in Game 6 against the Minnesota Wild that sent Chicago to the Western Conference finals. ... Chicago RW Marian Hossa has an eight game goalless streak ... Los Angeles scratched C Colin Fraser, D Brayden McNabb, D Robyn Regehr, D Andrew Bodnarchuk, D Jeff Schultz, RW Linden Vey, C Andy Andreoff, C Jordan Nolan and G Jean-Francois Berube. Regehr, a regular until he sustained a knee injury after Game 1 of the Anaheim series, has started to skate with the team, but the timetable for his return to the lineup is uncertain. ... Seventeen players on the Kings’ roster played for the team during its run to the 2012 Stanley Cup championship. .... Kings C Anze Kopitar has scored in 15 of 18 playoff games this season.