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Kings eliminate Blues head to second round in their defense of the Stanley Cup

Hockey will continue in Tinsel town for at least another seven game series, as the Los Angeles Kings eliminated the St. Louis Blues with a 2-1 win on Friday night to win the best of seven first round series 4-2.

Over the past two seasons, both defending NHL champions, the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins lost in the first round defending their titles, but the Kings stopped that by beating the Blues and moving to round two. The NHL has not seen a repeat champion for 15 seasons.

This first round series was tough for the Kings because every game was close right down to the very end. Los Angeles started out the series by losing the first two games, but turned their game around to win 4 straight with a 2-1 victory at home on Friday night.

Once again, the big man for the Kings was goalie Jonathan Quick. The netminder stopped 21 of 22 shots on goal on the night. Quick once again was the difference in the game. He stopped 167 of the 177 shots he faced in the series for a save percentage of .944.

Each game in the physical, defensive minded series was decided by a single goal and during the six game series, Quick only gave up 10 goals to the Blues.

The Kings have now won 10 consecutive games on their home ice since March at the Staples Center.
The Kings’ next opponent has not been decided, but will be either the Anaheim Ducks or the San Jose Sharks. If the Ducks win their series against the Detroit Red Wings, they will play the Kings, if Detroit wins, the Kings will face the Sharks and Detroit will face Chicago.

If Anaheim wins, it will be the first time that the two Southern California team in the NHL will compete against one another in the post season.

Already the postseason has been more difficult for the Kings than it was when they won the Cup last year after being the No. 8 seeded in the Western Conference. Last season Los Angeles was up 3-0 in all four series they played, beat three seeds that were higher and wound up 16-4 overall in the postseason. This season in the first round, they lost two straight against the Blues.

Regardless of what team the Kings face in the next round the Kings will have an advantage as they have the league’s best goaltender in the net in Quick. Los Angeles also will have at least an extra pair of days to rest their legs while they await the outcome of the seventh game between the Red Wings and Ducks.

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