Kings 4, Blues 2: Nothing a Gordie Howe hat trick can't fix

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 03: Jamie Langenbrunner #15 of the St. Louis Blues and Mike Richards #10 of the Los Angeles Kings exchange punches in the first period in Game Three of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center on May 3, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Langenbrunner and Richards both were given penalties for fighting and Richards was awarded an additional penalty for slashing. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

First off, I read the game thread when I got back, and you guys are wrong! Brett Hull Hockey for the Super NES was the best for its time.

I did want to add pictures of a few scantily clad woman in high heels, and a sea of beautiful Kings fans enjoying festivities before the game outside Staples Center (complete with a beer garden, and a live band) but alas, I am a computer dunce and can't figure out how to get the pictures to load onto the article, so tough titty.

Mike Richards is known for big moments, in big games (kind of a take the bull by the horns kind of guy), but just 5 minutes into the game Richards set the tone for what would be a momentous night for Kings fans, and a bad night for everybody else.

Advanced links: [Boxscore] [Head to head time on ice] [Shot differential (Corsi/Fenwick)] [Faceoffs]

[Zone Starts] [Shift Charts]

St. Louis spent a lot of time passively allowing the Kings to skate along the boards while they protected the middle with a moderated (collapsible) four man box and a stationary 5th player directly in front of the net. Kopi's line would dance right through it, and Justin Williams would give the Kings their first lead of the night. The St.Louis Blues would only mount 4 shots in the 1st, and 10 shots total through 2 periods of play. Some dumb play by Matt D`Agostini, a fight, a few slashing penalties, and some great hits as both teams combined for 24 first period hits out of the 85 total hits in the game (and yes Alex Pietrangelo caught a few more than just the hit from Brown).

The 2nd period saw the Blues surprise everyone, as they scored quickly to start the period, but they were only allowed 40 seconds to feel good about themselves before Dwight King would put a hold on that. Stewart would score his second goal of the game in the third, between a pair of Kings goals, but it was Mike Richards goal, and an assist on a brilliant goal by Drew Doughty that made up that pair of goals to complete the Gordie Howe Hat Trick.

The Blues are on the verge of being eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs and Hitchcock (who I consider one of the better coaches in the league right now) gives us his assessment of what he thinks in the press conference after the game.

Backes had more of the same.

Onward to Sunday and a 12 o'clock start time in LA as the Kings look to make history in these Stanley Cup playoffs. Don't forget to watch for Robert P.'s breakdowns of possession stats and line match ups. GO KINGS!

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