Goalie Jonathan Quick, left, whose key save kept the Kings in the contest, gets congratulated by teammate Anze Kopitar after L.A. roared back for a 6-2 win in Game 2 in Chicago. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Quick's second-period stop on Brent Seabrook was one of the saves of the playoffs and a turning point in the Kings' Game 2 win in Chicago.
It started with a save. A huge save.
And it didn't end there.
With the host Blackhawks ahead 2-0 in the second period and threatening to take a two-games-to-none series lead in the Western Conference final on Wednesday night, Chicago centre Kris Versteeg broke into the Los Angeles zone on the left side and spied teammate Brent Seabrook racing to the net on the other side of the rink. He made a perfect pass that Seabrook drilled, but Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick did the splits and saved the day.
"The pass came across and Seabrook is a right [handed] shot so it's a different angle than if it was a one-timer [from a lefty shot]. You just try to get over to the post and I was fortunate to get a piece of it," Quick explained.
It was one of the best saves of the entire playoffs and a turning point in the game. If the Blackhawks had gone up 3-0 on that play it would have been awfully difficult for the Kings to come back.
Instead, Justin Williams cut L.A.'s deficit to 2-1 before the end of the second period, and the Kings added five more unanswered goals in the third for an impressive 6-2 win.
Kings centre Jeff Carter had a huge night with three goals and an assist -- all his points coming in the wild third period. He was reluctant, though, to call it his best period ever.
"I didn't really have to do too much," Carter said. "I stood in front of the net on the first one, Greener and Tanner [teammates Matt Greene and Tanner Pearson] made a great play on the second one and then I scored an empty-net goal."
Carter's big night shot him into a tie for second place in the playoff scoring race with teammate Marian Gaborik, and one point behind another teammate, centre Anze Kopitar, who leads with 19 points.
Carter's seven goals and 16 points include four goals and seven points in his last three games.
Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter agreed Quick's big save helped turn the game in his team's favour, but he said there were other significant plays that led to the Kings' victory.
"I think there's probably lots [of turning points]," Sutter said. "I don't think there was necessarily just one. I think killing the five-on-three in the first period was one, not going away when the score was 2-0 [was another], and scoring a goal late in the second and scoring a goal early in the third."
Williams wakes up Kings
When Williams charged the Blackhawks net and scored at 18:14 of the second period to get his team on the board, it brought the Kings to life.
"To be honest with you, I thought we were a little flat heading up to that goal," Carter said. "It gave us a little bit of life and a little extra energy going into the third."
Carter and Jake Muzzin scored power-play goals early in the third and the visitors never looked back.
Good start, bad finish
Chicago coach Joel Quenneville can be excused for thinking his team was well on its way to an eighth straight home playoff victory.
"I really liked how we played for 38 minutes," Quenneville said. "We did everything we were looking to do and they got a little bit of momentum at the end of the period, scoring a big goal on an innocent play and it gave them some life. We took a couple of funny penalties and they were both in our net and that was it."
Asked what he said to his players after the second period, Sutter sheepishly said he told them, "[The Blackhawks] can't win all their home games."
Down, not out
If there is one thing we have learned about the Kings in this year's playoffs, it is to not count them out just because they are down.
"The way it turned on a dime, I don't know if we have seen a game like that all year when we were doing everything right and all of a sudden it was a disaster," Quenneville. "We've seen this team in the playoffs and what they have been able to do with their backs against the wall. Basically we have to play right through periods and right through games."
Mike BrophyMike Brophy brings a wealth of hockey writing and broadcasting experience to CBC Sports, having covered junior hockey for 14 years before joining The Hockey News as its senior writer for 17 years starting in 1992. Most recently, the Burlington, Ont., native worked as a writer/commentator at Rogers Sportsnet and as co-host of The Power Play on SiriusXM. Mike has written four books, including My First Goal, featuring 50 players describing their first NHL goals.
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