On a Saturday night where the St. Louis Blues had trouble hitting the net, Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick stopped everything else sent his way in the Kings' 1-0 victory in Game 3.
Slava Voynov's rebound goal out of an extended pileup near the Blues' net provided the only goal of the night 4 minutes, 56 seconds into the second period.
The loss left the Blues still leading the best-of-seven series 2-1 with Game 4 set for 9 p.m. Monday in Los Angeles. While the Blues have outscored the Kings in the series 4-3, the Kings trail the series by just one game.
The Kings had a 3-0 lead in all four series they won last spring on the way to the Stanley Cup championship. This time they found themselves down 2-0 to the Blues as they returned to home ice Saturday night at Staples Center.
Blues goalie Brian Elliott robbed L.A.'s Dwight King on a breakaway with the Blues fighting for the tying goal late in the game.
Not long after that, Blues defenseman Jordan Leopold failed to convert on a golden scoring opportunity with about 4:35 remaining. Leopold shot wide, a consistent theme for Blues throughout the night along with being unable to convert on power plays.
Blues winger Andy McDonald partially fanned on a shot when staring at a wide-open net in the second period. David Backes and Alex Steen also had good chances during the second period, but Quick stopped everything that wasn't shot wide.
The Blues are 10-0 in franchise history when winning the first two games of a playoff series. Meanwhile, the Kings had overcome a 2-0 deficit only once in franchise history, in 2001 against the Detroit Red Wings.
The Kings got a power-play when Blues winger David Perron was called for high sticking during a scrum. However, the Blues wound up with the best scoring chance when captain David Backes shot wide on a short-handed break-in chance.
Perron later was involved in a scrap near the Kings' net, the second time he and Quick became tied up in front in the series.
Blues defenseman Barret Jackman was shaken up briefly late in the first period on a stick to the throat from Kings' forward Jeff Carter.
With a league-best 19-4-1 record at home this season, the Kings have won seven straight on home ice since March 23.
The Blues' situation is almost the opposite of where they found themselves a year ago. Last season, the Blues lost two straight at home to the Kings before returning to L.A. in Game 3.
The Kings won the next two games and swept the second-round series. They also won all three regular-season games against the Blues this season.
It's been quite a series for Elliott, who headed into Saturday with a 13-2 record in his last 15 games. His red-hot run included three shutouts, a 1.22 goals-against average and a .950 save percentage.
During those 15 games, Elliott allowed one goal nine times.
He stopped 56 of 58 shots in Games 1 and 2, registering a .966 save percentage thus far in the playoffs.
The Blues went with the same lineup they used in the first two games, while the Kings inserted defenseman Alec Martinez and went with seven defensemen in the lineup.