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Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2014

Playoffs 2013Brian Elliott, Blues not making any excuses

Posted: Thursday, May 9, 2013 | 08:45 PM

Categories: Hockey Night in Canada, Los Angeles Kings, Playoffs 2013, STL vs LA, St. Louis Blues

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A shot by Los Angeles Kings' Slava Voynov, not shown, slips past St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliott during overtime in Game 5 on Wednesday in St. Louis. (Jeff Roberson/Associated Press) A shot by Los Angeles Kings' Slava Voynov, not shown, slips past St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliott during overtime in Game 5 on Wednesday in St. Louis. (Jeff Roberson/Associated Press)

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St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott made it clear he wasn't making excuses. But the fact of the matter is, L.A. Kings forward Slava Voynov's overtime-winning goal on Wednesday was not as soft as it looked.
LOS ANGELES -- St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott made it clear he wasn't making excuses. 

But the fact of the matter is, Slava Voynov's overtime-winning goal on Wednesday was not as soft as it looked.

Voynov's shot through Elliott's pads lifted L.A. to a 4-3 overtime victory over the Blues in Game 5 and put their backs to the wall for Game 6 Friday in Los Angeles (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 10 p.m. ET).

"Three on two and I saw [Jaden Schwartz] coming back as hard as he could," said Elliott, whose team trails 3-2 in the series. "[Anze Kopitar] slid it over a little sooner than our d-men expected and made a good pass. Schwartzie got a stick on [Voynov's] stick. You're never going to tell him not to do it, but it's kind of a bad break. That's why anything can happen in overtime."

Voynov was aiming upstairs, but when Schwartz intervened, it kept Voynov from following through and lifting the puck. Instead it stayed low. The trajectory fooled Elliott, who was coming out of his butterfly to stop an elevated shot. The low shot zipped through his legs.

"I was hustling back as hard as I could and got a stick on him," Schwartz said. "He definitely wasn't going five-hole there. If anything, he fanned on the shot. I got a stick on him, but it wasn't enough."

Regaining confidence

At this point, the overtime goals are water under the bridge. The Kings have solved Elliott for seven goals in the past two games, but he will be back in for Game 6.

"I don't think it's any different than any other game," Elliott said. "It's just trying to get the job done and having the confidence to just go out there and play your game. It's not about putting too much pressure on yourself. It's about going out and executing.

"I think guys overall think that we can execute better than we have. It's all about getting it back here [for Game 7 Monday]."


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Quick hits

While Elliott explained the overtime goal, Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick said he never saw the goal by Blues defenceman Alex Pietrangelo, which tied Game 5 with only 45 seconds remaining in regulation.

"You know what it was? I stepped off the angle to find it," Quick said. "I saw him release it. As it was coming, I just couldn't find it after it came off his stick. Usually when you see it come off his stick, you have a better chance of stopping it. I just couldn't seem to pick it up.

"It was disappointing at the time, but we were able to bounce back and get one there in the overtime, which was huge. We've still got a lot of work to do, so we're going to get ready for this next one."

Homeward bound

The Kings are 6-1 all time when leading 3-2 in a playoff series. They flew home to L.A. after the game on Wednesday and are anxious for the opportunity to clinch this bruising series at home.

"It's great," Kings centre Kopitar said. "It's all we wanted. You want to get this win. You want to have the chance to close it out at home. We all know the fourth one's going to be the toughest one, but we're going to have to get ready for it and play our game."

Stats central

It's official, the Kings can win on the road. The overtime victory at St. Louis was the team's first road win since March 31, or a 3-2 win over Dallas. The dramatic result snapped an 0-6-2 streak away from home.

By the way, the last overtime goal scored by a Kings defenceman in the playoffs was Jaroslav Modry's goal on April 26, 2001 in a 4-3.

The goal for Pietrangelo was his first in 29 games, regular-season included. Blues centre Vladimir Sobotka has gone 22 games without a goal. 

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