Matt Greene scored a short-handed goal in the second period for the lead and Jonathan Quick was strong in net throughout as the Los Angeles Kings beat the host St. Louis Blues 3-1 in the opener of a best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series.
ST. LOUIS — Matt Greene scored a short-handed goal late in the second period for the lead and Jonathan Quick was strong in net throughout as the Los Angeles Kings beat the St. Louis Blues 3-1 in the opener of a best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series Saturday night.
Slava Voynov scored for his first point of the postseason and Dustin Penner added an empty-net goal for the Kings, who were 3-0 on the road while taking down the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Vancouver Canucks in five games in the first round.
Los Angeles is the eighth seed in the conference.
David Backes opened the scoring on a deflection in the first period for the Blues, the No. 2 seed in the West and the top remaining seed in the conference.
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Brian Elliott made 26 saves for the Blues.
St. Louis defenseman Alex Pietrangelo didn’t play in the third period after getting his head driven into the boards by Dwight King. Blues coach Ken Hitchcock seemed to indicate Pietrangelo had concussion symptoms.
“I’ve got bigger issues than replacing Petro,” Hitchcock said. “We need much more commitment from our top players.”
Backes said, “It’s a pretty good trade when their third line gets a penalty and our best player (Pietrangelo) is out for the rest of the game.”
Rangers lead East semis 1-0
NEW YORK — Rangers rookie Chris Kreider scored the go-ahead goal and set up Brad Richards’ insurance goal 90 seconds later in the third period to lift New York to a 3-1 victory over the Washington Capitals in the opening game of their East semifinal series.
Kreider, who earlier this month helped Boston College win the NCAA championship, scored the second goal of his NHL career — and these playoffs — and he did it at the perfect time to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead 7:00 into the third.
Washington outshot the Rangers 18-14.