Kings blitz Blues for 2-0 series lead

Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Kings forward Anze Kopitar scores past Blues goalie Brian Elliott and Blues defenseman Andy McDonald during the first period of Game 2 on Monday in St. Louis. (JEFF ROBERSON ~ Associated Press)

ST. LOUIS -- Anze Kopitar scored twice in a four-goal, first-period blitz to help the Los Angeles Kings embarrass the St. Louis Blues from the opening faceoff Monday.

The Kings whipped the Blues 5-2 on Monday night for Los Angeles' fifth straight road win this postseason.

Mike Richards and Jeff Carter had a goal apiece, and Dustin Penner and Dustin Brown both had a pair of assists in a period that was one goal shy of the franchise playoff record of five in 1993 against Vancouver.

Brown assisted on Kopitar's short-handed goal and has had a hand in all four of the Kings' short-handed goals in the playoffs. He scored two of them and assisted on the other two.

Andy McDonald scored 18 seconds into the second for St. Louis, but Justin Williams squashed thoughts of a comeback when he scored on the Kings' first shot of the period. Los Angeles then sat on that cushion. It only took five over shots the last two periods.

Matt D'Agostini scored in the third for St. Louis, which was 0 for 9 on the power play

Kopitar has three goals and three assists in the playoffs and has scored in five straight playoff games after leading the Kings in scoring for the fifth straight season with 25 goals and 76 points. Brown added a third assist in the second period and has a team-leading nine points in the postseason.

The Kings have won seven straight on the road in the playoffs counting a pair against San Jose last spring. They are in an enviable spot taking the series back to Los Angeles, with Game 3 on Thursday night. They opened the first round with a pair of victories at Vancouver and took out the President's Trophy winners in five games, but they held just one 2-0 series lead back in 1968 when they lost in seven in the first round to Minnesota before the Canucks series.

The Blues are 1-16 in franchise history when facing a 2-0 series deficit. The lone exception came in the first round against Minnesota in 1972 when they rallied to win in seven games.

St. Louis had the NHL's stingiest defense in the regular season. Goalies Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak combined for 15 shutouts, and both blanked the Kings once. They surrendered more goals in the first period of Game 2 than in any regular-season period.

Even an early fight between B.J. Crombeen and Dwight King, whose boarding penalty knocked out star defenseman Alex Pietrangelo in Game 1, failed to provide a spark.

Pietrangelo was a Game 2 scratch with a lower body injury rather than a concussion-related issue as had been feared after he crashed face-first into the boards near the end of the second period. He could return to a needy lineup for Game 3.

The charge began from the opening faceoff. Richards scored on the game's first shot at 31 seconds from the slot after Penner dangled the puck near the net for several seconds before tossing it out.

The Kings had an 8-0 shots advantage before Jonathan Quick finally faced a shot at 9:21, then undressed the Blues' power play for their second short-handed goal of the series with Brown stealing the puck from Carlo Colaiacovo in the St. Louis zone and feeding it in front to Kopitar, who had enough time to stretch Elliott across the crease to the breaking point.

That was just the second two-goal deficit of the playoffs for the Blues.

The first came on an empty-net goal in the Kings' 3-1 Game 1 victory. The Kings were just getting warmed up. They added two goals in a span of three shots late in the period.

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