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Quick proves his mettle for Kings in win

The Kings’ Matt Greene cheers his short-handed goal with teammate Anze Kopitar in the second period of their 3-1 win over the Blues in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal. Blues goalie Brian Elliott looks back for the puck as David Backes gets in a late nudge on Kopitar after the Kings took a 2-1 lead.

Associated Press

The Kings’ Matt Greene cheers his short-handed goal with teammate Anze Kopitar in the second period of their 3-1 win over the Blues in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal. Blues goalie Brian Elliott looks back for the puck as David Backes gets in a late nudge on Kopitar after the Kings took a 2-1 lead.

Rangers 0 1 2 3
Capitals 0 1 0 1
ST. LOUIS — Vezina Trophy finalist Jonathan Quick was strong in net throughout, Matt Greene scored shorthanded late in the second period for the lead and the Kings beat the Blues 3-1 in the opener of their Western Conference semifinal series Saturday night.

If not for Quick, the Blues could have run away with the game early. He robbed Andy McDonald twice from point-blank range in the game's first minute as St. Louis took the game's first six shots.

The Blues grabbed the lead when David Backes deflected Alex Pietrangelo's wrist shot past a screened Quick 9:16 in. After that, Quick kicked out B.J. Crombeen's backhand effort with 8:18 left in the period.

"It looks like it took us about 10, 12 (minutes) to get our legs underneath us," said Quick, who made 28 saves. "After that, we played a great game."

The Kings tied it when Slava Voynov snuck in from the point to convert Dustin Penner's centering feed at 16:58 of the first. They took the lead in the second with their third shorthanded goal of the playoffs when Greene popped in a loose puck at the side of the net with 1:03 left in the period.

Pietrangelo left the game in the second after being boarded by the Kings' Dwight King, who got a minor boarding penalty.

Kings 1 1 1 3
Blues 1 0 0 1
Kings 1 1 1 3
Blues 1 0 0 1

First Period1, St.L, Backes 2 (Perron, Pietrangelo), 9:16. 2, L.A., Voynov 1 (Penner, Richards), 16:58. PenaltiesRichards, LA (cross-checking), :50; Perron, StL (goaltender interference), 17:39.

Second Period3, L.A., Greene 1 (Brown), 18:57 (sh). PenaltiesGreene, LA (holding), 14:02; King, LA (boarding), 18:47.

Third Period4, L.A., Penner 2 (Scuderi), 19:45 (en). PenaltiesPerron, StL (high-sticking), 3:42; Oshie, StL, double minor (high-sticking), 6:23; Shattenkirk, StL (delay of game), 10:29; Crombeen, StL, misconduct, 19:53. Shots on GoalL.A. 11-9-9—29. St.L 13-8-8—29. Power-play opportunitiesL.A. 0 of 5; St.L 0 of 3. GoaliesL.A., Quick 5-1-0 (29 shots-28 saves). St.L, Elliott 3-1-0 (28-26).

Rookie leads Rangers by Capitals in opener

NEW YORK — The fans at Madison Square Garden were on their feet, roaring Chris Kreider's name. Kreider, a rookie forward who was still on his parents' cellphone plan when he joined the Rangers from Boston College three weeks ago, had just taken a perfect stretch pass from Derek Stepan and blasted a 43-foot slap shot past Washington goalie Braden Holtby.

Kreider's goal broke open what had been a gridlocked game, giving the Rangers a 2-1 lead over the workmanlike Capitals in the first game of their East semifinal series.

"It was a surreal experience. I got goose bumps," Kreider said about hearing his name chanted by the crowd.

One and a half minutes later, Brad Richards scored from close range to make it 3-1, and that was how it ended. An assist on that goal went to Kreider, who three weeks ago was helping Boston College win the national championship at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

The passing and shooting lanes were so clogged in the game that both goalies, Holtby and the Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist, often had little to do. Lundqvist faced 18 shots; Holtby, himself a rookie in this postseason, faced only 14.

Ovechkin said the Capitals would bounce back. "It's only one game," he said. "Monday it's going to be a different game, and it's going to be a new day."

Rangers 0 1 2 3
Capitals 0 1 0 1

First PeriodNone. PenaltiesRupp, NYR (goaltender interference), 3:23; Semin, Was (slashing), 3:50; Staal, NYR (interference), 12:16; Ovechkin, Was (tripping), 17:54.

Second Period1, NYR, Anisimov 1 (Fedotenko, McDonagh), 12:38. 2, Wash, Chimera 2 (Laich), 19:56. PenaltiesStaal, NYR (holding), 6:26; Prust, NYR (boarding), 7:53.

Third Period3, NYR, Kreider 2 (Stepan), 7:00. 4, NYR, Richards 3 (Kreider, Gaborik), 8:30. PenaltiesSemin, Was (tripping), 2:12; Wash bench, served by Ovechkin (too many men), 12:20. Shots on GoalWash 6-7-5—18. NYR 4-4-6—14. Power-play opportunitiesWash 0 of 4; NYR 0 of 4. GoaliesWash, Holtby 4-4-0 (14 shots-11 saves). NYR, Lundqvist 5-3-0 (18-17).

Quick proves his mettle for Kings in win 04/29/12 [Last modified: Sunday, April 29, 2012 1:29am]

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