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Sweep puts Kings in second conference final

The Kings’ Jonathan Quick, who has a .949 save percentage during the playoffs, denies the Blues’ Alexander Steen during the third period of the series-clinching 3-1 victory.

Associated Press

The Kings’ Jonathan Quick, who has a .949 save percentage during the playoffs, denies the Blues’ Alexander Steen during the third period of the series-clinching 3-1 victory.

LOS ANGELES — Dustin Brown scored twice, including an empty-netter that sealed Sunday's 3-1 victory and four-game sweep of the Blues. The win put Los Angeles in a conference final for the second time since joining the league in 1967.

"It's a special group, and we knew that all along this season," said Anze Kopitar, who assisted on both of Brown's goals. "Maybe we didn't break out when we would have liked to. But I think we've peaked at the right time."

The Kings, led by Wayne Gretzky, lost to the Canadiens in the 1993 Stanley Cup final. They had won just one playoff series in the ensuing 17 seasons before beating the Canucks and Blues this year in the West to become the first No. 8 seed to oust its conference's top two seeds since the current playoff format was adopted in 1993-94.

The Blues, in the second round for the first time since 2001-02, led for only 7:42 of the series.

"L.A. plays the way you have to play to win the Cup now," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said.

"Over the disappointments of the last three or four years, they've figured it out."

Kings 2 0 1 3
Blues 1 0 0 1

First Period1, Los Angeles, Nolan 1 (Penner), 4:36. 2, St. Louis, Shattenkirk 1 (Jackman), 11:34. 3, Los Angeles, Brown 5 (Kopitar, Doughty), 18:17. PenaltiesStewart, StL (tripping), 2:06; Stewart, StL, major (fighting), 13:53; Nolan, LA, major (fighting), 13:53; Stoll, LA (holding), 14:14.

Second PeriodNone. PenaltiesNichol, StL (high-sticking), 4:48; Los Angeles bench, served by King (too many men), 6:04; Doughty, LA (interference), 8:03; Backes, StL (elbowing), 8:13.

Third Period4, Los Angeles, Brown 6 (Kopitar, Greene), 19:34 (en). PenaltiesD'Agostini, StL (boarding), 4:33; Brown, LA (slashing), 4:33; Nichol, StL, double minor (high-sticking), 8:00; Stoll, LA (high-sticking), 9:29. Shots on GoalSt. Louis 4-13-7—24. Los Angeles 10-2-7—19. Power-play opportunitiesSt. Louis 0 of 3; Los Angeles 0 of 5. GoaliesSt. Louis, Elliott 3-4-0 (18 shots-16 saves). Los Angeles, Quick 8-1-0 (24-23). A18,373 (18,118).

Devils take 3-1 lead

NEWARK, N.J. — Dainius Zubrus scored the go-ahead goal and an empty-netter as the Devils beat the Flyers 4-2 for a 3-1 East semifinal series lead.

The Devils outshot the Flyers 43-22, giving goalie Martin Brodeur an easy night on his 40th birthday after he allowed two first-period goals. He became the first goalie to appear in a playoff game as a teen and a 40-year-old. His debut came April 27, 1992, at age 19 in relief of Chris Terreri.

"It was a great effort from the guys," Brodeur said. "We started not the way we wanted to start the game. But we beared down afterward, and we dominated the game."

Devils 2 1 1 4
Flyers 2 0 0 2

First Period1, Philadelphia, Hartnell 3 (Giroux, Timonen), 11:50 (pp). 2, Philadelphia, Giroux 8 (Talbot), 13:40 (sh). 3, New Jersey, Sykora 2 (Zidlicky, Zajac), 15:14 (pp). 4, New Jersey, Zidlicky 1 (Salvador, Kovalchuk), 18:09. PenaltiesZajac, NJ (interference), 8:55; Zidlicky, NJ (interference), 11:43; Lilja, Phi (tripping), 13:27; Hartnell, Phi (interference), 18:32.

Second Period5, New Jersey, Zubrus 2 (Henrique, Sykora), 17:47. PenaltiesCouturier, Phi (delay of game), 5:12; Giroux, Phi (illegal check to head minor), 19:56.

Third Period6, New Jersey, Zubrus 3 (Fayne, Brodeur), 19:15 (en). PenaltiesTimonen, Phi (holding), 16:24. Shots on GoalPhiladelphia 7-5-10—22. New Jersey 16-16-11—43. Power-play opportunitiesPhiladelphia 1 of 2; New Jersey 1 of 5. GoaliesPhiladelphia, Bryzgalov 5-5-0 (42 shots-39 saves). New Jersey, Brodeur 7-3-0 (22-20). A17,625 (17,625). .

Coyote suspended: Phoenix defenseman Rostislav Klesla was banned for Game 5 tonight for Friday's Game 4 hit on Nashville's Matt Halischuk. Klesla grabbed the wing's jersey before slamming him into the boards, earning a boarding minor. Halischuk missed only a few shifts.

Sweep puts Kings in second conference final 05/07/12 [Last modified: Monday, May 7, 2012 1:05am]
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