Stanley Cup Final: Jonathan Quick silences New York crowd as Kings take commanding lead

Bruce Bennett

Jonathan Quick's Game 3 shutout has the Los Angeles Kings one win away from their second Stanley Cup in three years.

The Los Angeles Kings didn't need overtime in this one.

After needing a pair of come-from-behind wins in the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final, the Kings made it a little easier on themselves with a 3-0 win to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the series thanks to Jonathan Quick's second shutout of the playoffs.

And on Wednesday in New York, they have a chance to complete the first Stanley Cup Final sweep since the Detroit Red Wings did it in 1998.

Even though they entered Monday night with a two-game lead, the Kings had never played a minute with a lead at any point in the series. That changed with less than a second to play in the first period when Jeff Carter scored his 10th goal of the playoffs and first of the series, beating Henrik Lundqvist with a quick snap shot that may have been redirected off the skate of slumping Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi.


Things didn't get any better for Girardi or the Rangers late in the second period.

Trailing by two goals, Girardi attempted to jump into the play in the offensive zone only to have the puck bounce over his stick. Martin St. Louis was not back in position to cover for his teammate, leading to a two-on-one rush the other way for Los Angeles that ended with Mike Richards scoring his first goal since Game 7 of the second round of the Western Conference playoffs. It was another brutal bounce for the Rangers as Richards initially attempted to pass the puck only to have it bounce off Ryan McDonagh and come right back to him for the goal.


And that was pretty much the knockout punch on the Rangers for the game, and most likely the series.

From there, the Kings simply turned the game over to Jonathan Quick and allowed him to do his thing in net, stopping all 32 shots he faced for his ninth career playoff shutout, including a series of spectacular saves in the second period that pretty much crushed any hopes Rangers fans may have still had at that point.

Quick hasn't always been great in these playoffs, but he put together what was perhaps his best game of the postseason on Monday.

One of the few times the Rangers looked as if they actually had a chance to beat him was midway through the second period when Rick Nash had a wide-open opportunity for what would have been an easy goal. Instead, Kings defenseman Drew Doughty took what may have been the best penalty of his career by hauling Nash down to the ice.


The Rangers' power play, as it has been known to do from time to time in the playoffs, failed to capitalize on the ensuing advantage.

And with that, the Rangers are on the brink of elimination and the Kings are one win from their second championship in three years.

Four teams have overcome a 3-0 series deficit in NHL history, including the Kings in the first round of this year's Western Conference playoffs, but only one team has done it in the Stanley Cup Final -- the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs who did it against the Detroit Red Wings.

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