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Kings and Blues return to St. Louis tied 2-2

Last night the Los Angeles Kings, the defending Stanley Cup Champions scored two late goals to defeat the St. Louis Blues in game 4 of their best of seven first round series in the Western Conference.

The Kings’ win tied the series 2-2. Los Angeles trialed heading into the final period of play and was looking at playing an elimination game in game 5 in St. Louis if they could not pull out a win in game 4.

Los Angeles came out and tied the game with 12:46 left in regulation on an Anze Kopitar goal and just over a minute later, the Kings took the lead when Justin Williams tipped a shot in the net. Down the stretch, the Blues put a great deal of heat on Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick. Over the final seconds, the Blues pulled their goalie for another attacker, but they could not break through to tie the score.

Prior to Monday’s win  by the Kings, the series has been a struggle on offense for both teams Neither team led by more than one goal at anytime during game 1 through game 3. The Blues won the first two games of the series by the same 2-1 margins and the Kings won game 3 in a shutout by Quick 1-0.

However, the offenses for both teams finally awoke and four goals were scored in just the first three quarters of the first period and the game ended with 7 goals scored, which was the same number scored in the first three games combined of a series that has been dominated by the defense on both ends of the ice.

Even with a three goal outburst in game 4, the Blues know they need to score more goals on Quick. After four games, Quick has given up 7 goals. Even though he allowed just two goals in each of the first two games of the series, Quick blamed himself for his team’s losses.

Quick now has a 1.66 goals against average in the series and a save percentage of nearly .941. He proved too strong for the Blues in net on Monday night when it mattered most in the third period.

Quick loves to come out of the net, cut down angles, and challenge shooters to put the puck past him. The Blues need to put more players in front of Quick in the crease to keep him from moving out and cutting down angles. However, rebounds at times come out and can be tipped in easier with Quick so far out of the net, but that has not happened yet in the series.

With the series now headed back to St. Louis for game 5, the Blues need to regroup after losing two straight in Los Angeles. Look for the defense to rear its head again in game 5 as St. Louis knows it has a good chance to win if fewer goals are scored since LA goalie Quick is not going to allow many on any given night.

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