Not long after the Kings' grinding 1-0 victory Saturday over the St. Louis Blues in Game 3, Darryl Sutter invited everyone within earshot to look at the tight-checking, low-scoring, first-round playoff series in another way and with a different perspective.

"There are a lot of little battles going on that only the players appreciate or understand," Sutter said. "Your top guys can't get frustrated and start playing their individual game. The two teams are very even, gave up the fewest shots in the conference, one and two.

"Both goaltenders, everybody understands who they are and what they are."

So what if the Kings scored only one goal in each of the first three games of the best-of-7 series and still trailed 2-1 going into Game 4 tonight? So what if scoring chances were few and far between and there seemed to be little in the way of sustained pressure?

Sutter asked a room filled with reporters to embrace the series' physicality and defensive nature and admire it for what it's become. Or so it seemed after a third consecutive nerve-jangling game that left everyone watching wondering when the goals would come.

St. Louis won the first two games by matching scores of 2-1.

The Kings took the third game 1-0.