CHICAGO — Jeff Carter and the Los Angeles Kings know how to come back in the playoffs. This was no big deal compared to the first two rounds.
Carter scored three of Los Angeles’ six straight goals, and the Kings beat the Chicago Blackhawks 6-2 on Wednesday night to even the Western Conference final at a game apiece.
Tyler Toffoli and Jake Muzzin also scored in Los Angeles’ five-goal third period to help the Kings become the first visiting team to win in Chicago this postseason. The Blackhawks won their first seven home playoff games this year, but the Kings skated right by Chicago after the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks took a 2-0 lead in the second period.
“Just sticking with what we need to do,” Carter said. “You know, we’ve got a good group of leaders in our room. We’ve been through comebacks and whatnot a lot lately. Obviously, not something we want to do. But we stick with it, grind it out, get the job done.”
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Los Angeles trailed 3-0 in its first playoff series against San Jose and won four straight games to eliminate the Sharks. The Kings overcame a 3-2 series deficit in the second round against top-seeded Anaheim.
“We know we can win,” forward Jarret Stoll said. “That’s the bottom line. They’ve got a good team, but we feel we do too.”
Game 3 of the best-of-seven series is Saturday night in Los Angeles.
Nick Leddy and Ben Smith scored for Chicago, which won 3-1 in Game 1 on Sunday.
“The way it turned on a dime like that, I don’t know if we’ve seen a game like that all year where we’re doing everything all right and all of a sudden it was a disaster,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said.
VANCOUVER, B.C. — The Canucks hired Jim Benning as general manager.
Benning is the first significant hire made by Trevor Linden, the former Canucks star who took over as president of hockey operations after the team missed the playoffs for the first time in six years.
Benning, 51, spent the past eight seasons with the Boston Bruins, including seven as assistant general manager. The former Canucks defenseman replaces Mike Gillis, fired as president and general manager a day after the club was eliminated from playoff contention.
• Dustin Tokarski will start in goal again for the Montreal Canadiens in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final in New York. The Rangers lead the series 2-0.