Kings Rally Back To Even Series
With scores of 2-1, 2-1 and 1-0, no one would have thought Game 4 between the Kings and the St. Louis Blues would see a bevy of goals being scored. But that's what happened. After falling into an early 2-0 deficit, the Kings rallied back to win 4-3 and evened up the series as it heads back to St. Louis.
There was one word that was the common theme of the Kings dressing room after the game.
"This team has resilience," head coach Darryl Sutter said.
"There's a lot of resilience in this room," Dustin Penner echoed. "The game has a funny way of making you question it, but we have a lot of resolve."
The team proved that in a highly unlikely comeback. The last time the Kings made such a come back was the famous "Stunner at Staples" or "Frenzy on Figueroa" back on Apr. 18, 2001 when the Kings came back from a 3-0 deficit against the Detroit Red Wings with six minutes left in the game before winning the game on Eric Belanger's overtime goal 4-3.
Although the comeback wasn't quite as dramatic, it was no less impressive considering they had managed to score only one goal in each of the first three games. Also they looked pretty awful for the first nine minutes of the game.
The Kings chased the puck early on instead of staying home on defense which led to David Backes scoring the first goal for the Blues just 72 seconds into the game. And after Colin Fraser was called for a high stick in the offensive zone, T.J. Oshie deflected Kevin Shattenkirk's shot from the left point. In less than five minutes the Blues had took a 2-0 lead.
"To break through those tough times we treat each game as a season," Dustin Penner said. "There's ebbs and flows with each game."
It looked more ebb than flow especially when Alexander Steen got Drew Doughty to respond to his cross check with some interference. But somehow on the four-on-four the Kings came alive, Mike Richards leading the charge down the left wing side to make the pass to Jeff Carter charging on the right wing to go top shelf over Blues goaltender Brian Elliott.
"It always feels good to score," Penner said. "It's been a while."
The Blues took the lead on Oshie's second goal of the game in the second period, but the Kings responded in the third thanks to Anze Kopitar's goal on a sweet centering pass by Dustin Brown. Kopitar was held to no shots-on-goal on Saturday in Game 3.
"It's hard to explain but every time you're going through a drought of 20, 19, you know that when you get one you feel about 100 pounds lighter," Kopitar said. "So it felt pretty good after that."
Justin Williams added a goal 74 seconds later after deflecting a puck in front of the crease off of Mike Richards' shot to give the Kings their first lead of the game.
"We're an experienced team," Williams said. "We've been through a lot. We knew we needed a response."
Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock summed the game up from his side of the glass. "They took the game to another level, and tonight we didn't have an answer."
The series now heads to St. Louis in what is now a three-game series where the home team has won every game. Unlike other Los Angeles teams the Kings have taken care of business so far, but they will need to win in St. Louis in order to have a chance to surpass their arena cohabitants.