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Kings Take First In Pacific Division!

Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Reporting from Los Angeles –

 The Los Angeles Kings vaulted into third place overall in the Western Conference standings and took first place in the Pacific division last night in a fierce battle of the goalies, that resulted in a 1-0 shootout win over the St. Louis Blues. Jeff Carter scored the game winning goal in the fourth round of the shootout. Jonathan Quick was able to stop Chris Stewart of the Blues to capture the win and his eighth shutout of the season and 22nd of his career. The Kings have won their last 6 games straight and are red hot. According to the Los Angeles Times in an article written yesterday by Lisa Dillman, the Kings radio-play-by-play man and stat guru Nick Nickson, determined that since February 25th, the Kings are the highest-scoring squad in the Western Conference. This coincides with Jeff Carter’s acquisition from Columbus. This along with superb goaltending from Joanthan Quick, better defensive work from the Kings and most importantly, more goal scoring, has helped the Kings turn around from a horrible mid-season slump.

“Even though we had our rough spots throughout the year so far, I think everybody in this locker room – we all believed in ourselves,” Quick said. “We knew we were a good team. We’re coming on at the right time. I tip the cap to Elliott,” Quick said. “He played unreal down at the other end and made some big saves to keep them in it … we got two points here. We need to get that every time we come out. That’s our goal and we got that tonight so we’ll enjoy it for another couple of minutes and then we’re going to move on for Saturday against Boston.”

Getting hot at the right moment never hurts. Watching the clock tick down in the third period, the tension in the stands was noticeable. Not to be too melodramatic, but Quick made what I thought was one of the best saves of his career if not THE best save I have ever seen. Quick made a sliding glove save on Jamie Langenbrunner with 2:40 left to go in regulation. The crowd at Staples Center (me included), held their collective breath as we were all certain that Langenbrunner’s shot would be a goal. But Quick came up huge and helped push the game into overtime. “I was just trusting the d-men to take the back doorway and they did a good job of that,” Quick said. “All he really had was an off-angle shot. I was just trying to take away everything he could be seeing.”

The Blues came out swinging last night and looked like they wanted to make up for losing to the Ducks 4-3 the night before. Very early on, the Blues were outshooting the Kings 12-3. The Kings had difficulty battling back and getting the puck into their offensive zone. After the first intermission, all of that changed. The Kings surged back and were battling St. Louis move for move. Whatever Coach Sutter said during the first break, worked. With St. Louis being the “best” team in the West, I was impressed with the Kings play. “We didn’t have the start we wanted, but we bounced back in the second period and controlled the game for the most part,” Anze Kopitar said. “Our penalty kill has been good all season and it’s come up big in the key moments.”

The Kings continue their home stand with Boston tomorrow night at the Staples Center. 6:00 PM PST on FSW. This will be the last game at home for a while as the Kings go on a four game road trip before returning home to the Staples Center on April 2, to host the playoff eliminated Edmonton Oilers. GO KINGS GO!!!

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