There was no room to roam on the ice. No margin for error, either. The Kings scored what proved to be the winning goal with only 0.2 seconds remaining in the second period, which says all you really need to know about the closeness of their 2-1 victory Friday over the St. Louis Blues in Game 6 and their bruising 4-2 series win. "There wasn't much ebb and flow in this series, quite honestly," coach Darryl Sutter said after the Kings rallied to win after losing the first two games in St. Louis. "It was so close, always a one-goal lead other than a two-goal lead here briefly (in Game 4). It was a shift-to-shift competition all the way. "I'm sure it was a hard series for the players to play." Dustin Penner scored the go-ahead goal in the dying moments of the second. He whistled a shot that appeared to deflect off the stick of retreating St. Louis defenseman Roman Polak at 19:59. Goaltender Jonathan Quick made 21 saves and bailed out the Kings with several key stops. Penner, a left wing, scored his fifth playoff goal with the Kings, with three as game-deciders. Quick stopped 167 of 177 shots for a .944 save percentage in the series. The defending Stanley Cup champions Kings now get a day to rest and recover while awaiting their second-round playoff opponent. It could be the Ducks if they defeat the Detroit Red Wings in Game 7 of their first-round series Sunday at the Honda Center. If the Red Wings win, the Kings will face the San Jose Sharks and have home-ice advantage. The Ducks squandered a chance to close out the Red Wings and fell 4-3 in overtime Friday. The Kings took care of business, though, by eliminating the Blues at the first opportunity. Defenseman Drew Doughty put the Kings ahead 1-0 at 12:37 of the first period. Left wing Chris Porter was credited with the Blues' only goal at 4:39 of the second period. Penner put the Kings ahead to stay in the final second of the middle period. "I heard the bench yell, 'Shoot,' " Penner said. The Kings were outshot 8-3 in the third period, but Quick turned away the Blues again and again. "I've got all the respect in the world for that team," Quick said of the Blues. "They work hard. Somebody's got to move on. Six one-goal games, so it was about as close as you can get. It could have gone either way.
Bigger, stronger L.A. prevails in grueling, physical series
L.A. Daily News | May 11