LOS ANGELES: Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli scored second-period goals to spark the Los Angeles Kings over the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 yesterday in a National Hockey League play-off game.
The Kings took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference final, which continues Monday at Los Angeles and Wednesday at Chicago.
The winner will face either the New York Rangers or Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup Final.
“Two-to-one series against the defending Stanley Cup Champs, I don’t think there’s taking control of a series,” said Los Angeles forward Dustin Brown. “I think that both teams have shown that they are able to battle adversity. This is a team that was down last year and found a way to come back, so we did what we wanted tonight and got the lead in the series. Now it’s about resetting and reloading. We’re up in the series, we have to keep going up.”
England football star David Beckham was among those in the crowd who watched the Kings take their second victory in a row.
Los Angeles had the fewest regular-season goals of any playoff club but now has the highest playoff goals-per-game average of any team in this post-season. Chicago took the lead on a short-handed goal by Jonathan Toews only 5:26 into the first period, the speedy Canadian center taking the puck on a breakaway and flicking a wrist shot past Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick inside the far post.
Los Angeles equalised only 50 seconds later, Slava Voynov firing a slapshot past Chicago netminder Corey Crawford for a power play goal just four seconds before a puck concealing penalty on Chicago’s Michael Handzus was to expire.
Toews put the Blackhawks back on top with 6:41 remaining in the opening period, taking a rebound on the edge of the crease, kicking it sideways with his right skate and flicking it with his stick into the back of the net.AFP