NHL Playoffs 2012: Top 10 Moments of the L.A. Kings' Playoff Run
The Los Angeles Kings have made a remarkable run in the 2012 NHL playoffs. In the opening round, the Kings defeated the Presidents' Trophy-winning Vancouver Canucks, who had finished as the top team in the regular-season standings. In the second round, the Kings have been able to beat up on the St. Louis Blues on numerous occasions.
Let's take a trip down memory lane to see the highlights of the Kings' Stanley Cup run so far in 2012.
Here are the top 10 moments for the Kings.
10. Alex Burrows Opens the Playoffs with a Goal That Began It All
Alexandre Burrows opened the first-round series in the NHL playoffs with a goal seconds after the Kings killed an important penalty.
In this particular instance, Jonathan Quick was arguably interfered with by Canucks forward Ryan Kesler before Burrows gathered the puck and fired it on net. Although the referees did not waive off the goal, it was the moment that woke up Jonathan Quick and the Los Angeles Kings and started them on their terrific playoff run.
9. Willie Mitchell Takes the Lead for the Kings
Willie Mitchell, the former Canucks shutdown defenseman, came into Vancouver with one purpose—beat his home-province team and advance to the second round.
Being known for his ability to take away scoring opportunities from the best offensive forwards in the NHL, Mitchell chips in offensively with an important goal to give the Los Angeles Kings their first lead in the playoffs this year.
8. Kings Captain Dustin Brown Crushes Canucks Captain Henrik Sedin
Dustin Brown has been a warrior in the NHL playoffs so far. He has registered four shorthanded points and delivered a series-changing hit that shook the entire city of Vancouver. Brown was everywhere, and he is proving why the Kings named him the captain of the team.
After the hit, Henrik Sedin was desperately asking for help from his teammates to open up the gate for him to recover. The Canucks never recovered from the hit, however.
The Kings were never really challenged physically or competitively with the score in the game. Eventually, the Kings finished Game 3 with a commanding 3-0 series lead after a 1-0 shutout victory from Jonathan Quick.
7. Dustin Brown Scores the Game 3-Winner for the Kings
Dustin Brown delivered a thunderous clean hit on Henrik Sedin earlier in the game. In the third period, Brown came right back with a fortunate goal from just outside the crease, on the backdoor against Canucks goalie Cory Schneider.
The Canucks never recovered from the Dustin Brown hit, and Brown made sure that the Canucks were completely out of the race with his timely goal to give the Kings the eventual win.
6. Jarret Stoll Ends the Series with a 2-1 Win in Overtime
Being in the rear-view mirror for much of the first four games of the series, Jarret Stoll hopped on the ice and delivered the most important goal of the series—the series-deciding goal—for the L.A. Kings.
The play that developed was somewhat lucky in a way, because defenseman Dan Hamhuis started to lose an edge and fell just outside of his own blue line. Jarret Stoll was closing in on the forecheck and took away the puck to drive towards the Canucks' net. Stoll shot the puck high on Schneider, beating him blocker side.
The Kings completed an improbable accomplishment of defeating the Presidents Trophy winners in just five games.
5. Dustin Brown and Matt Greene Score Shorthanded Again
With Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals tied at 1-1, the L.A. Kings were in a penalty-killing situation when Dustin Brown was able to rush the puck up the ice. Matt Greene, the trailer, found a rebound and deposited the 2-1 tie-breaking goal against Brian Elliott of the St. Louis Blues.
That goal was yet another great moment from captain Dustin Brown, as he has registered so many shorthanded points in the playoffs already. Terrific heart from the captain of the Kings.
4. Dwight King Answers the Bell and Takes on B.J. Crombeen
In this instance, Dwight King delivered quite a solid hit on Blues player Alex Pietrangelo. The Blues were upset by that hit, and B.J. Crombeen came over on a faceoff to challenge King to a fight.
King answered the bell and dropped the gloves with Crombeen to begin the fight. King, having a considerable size advantage over the Blues forward, won the decision. This is another moment where the Kings stood up to the test and passed with flying colors.
3. Anze Kopitar Connects for a Shorthanded Goal
What else for the Kings? This time, it was Slovenian forward Anze Kopitar who came in and scored a shorthanded goal against the St. Louis Blues in the playoffs.
Blessed with great speed, soft hands and fantastic game sense, Kopitar was able to retrieve the puck and lead the Kings into a commanding lead in Game 2. That goal deflated the Blues, and everyone, including goalie Brian Elliott, was left searching for answers.
2. You Got to Be Good to Be Lucky
The Los Angeles Kings have performed so well in the NHL playoffs that often times, viewers forget the team sometimes gets lucky breaks as well.
In this situation, the puck was just inches away from being counted a goal, but luckily, Jonathan Quick was able to smother it in time to get a whistle from the referee.
1. Relive the Moments from the Game 3
Without too many words, let's review the Game 3 moments that brings the Kings another step closer to hockey glory.
Honorable Mention: Jonathan Quick 'Goal-Line Stand'
This video did not make my top 10, but it deserves just as much attention as all the other moments in the Los Angeles Stanley Cup run.
Jonathan Quick was fully extended, and Ryan Kesler was denied on the wrap-around attempt right next to the goal line.
This is Joseph Trenton reporting from Vancouver.
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