Blues Vs. Kings, NHL Playoffs 2012 Game 1: LA Takes Game 1 With 3-1 Victory

The No. 8 seed Los Angeles Kings are making noise again, looking to pull off their second straight series upset. After knocking off the No. 1 seed Canucks in five games, the Kings advanced to face the No. 2 seed St. Louis Blues. As they did against Vancouver, the Kings jumped on the Blues early in the series and took Game 1 of the conference semifinals in St. Louis on Saturday night.

LA took a 2-1 lead with a minute remaining in the second period on a fabulous shorthanded goal by Matt Greene, created off a breakaway by Dustin Brown. St. Louis then took themselves out of it in the third period, committing a slew of penalties which handed LA a man-advantage with the one-goal lead. When they weren't trying to kill off a penalty, they had to deal with one of the best goaltenders in the league, the Kings' Jonathan Quick.

The Kings were on the power play for a significant chunk of time at the mid-point of the third period, as the Blues spent nearly six straight minutes in the box. T.J. Oshie was whistled for a four-minute high-sticking penalty when he caught Colin Fraser and drew blood. St. Louis successfully killed off the Oshie penalty, but six seconds into five-on-five play, Kevin Shattenkirk caught an awful break on a battle down in front of the crease. The Blues defenseman quickly tried to clear the puck from right in front of goaltender Brian Elliott, but the biscuit sailed over the glass on the backhand flip. St. Louis killed off the two minute delay-of-game penalty, but it took away a huge stretch of time to try and even it up.

One had to wonder how much gas was left in the Blues' tank after killing off eight minutes of penalty time over the first 12 minutes of the period. They still managed to get some good shots on Quick, but the Vezina finalist was up to the task and slammed the door to seal the win. Dustin Penner would add an empty netter with 15 seconds remaining to remove all doubt.

The Blues will try to even the series up in Game 2 on Monday night at 9:00 p.m. ET.

For more on the Kings, check out Jewels From The Crown, Battle Of California and SB Nation Los Angeles. For more on the Blues, head over to St. Louis Game Time.

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