[Ed. note: Authored by Defrim65.]
I'm afraid so, Kings fans. When the game was still a hockey game, the Kings dominated the Blues quite soundly. The possession game to start was amazing, and the Blues had no answer in the first period as the Kings scored 4 goals. The Central Division champs looked shell-shocked as LA constantly bombarded St.Louis with scoring chance after scoring chance, and shot after shot. The 2nd period saw two goals exchanged early. The final tally was scored in the 3rd by St.Louis, who seemed to be morally satisfied with their consolation prize goal in their 5-2 loss on home ice.
The real story of the the night was the circus that ensued from the 2nd period on, as the refs ultimately lost control of the game. The 3rd became a constant parade to the penalty box. The Kings found themselves fighting another team who resorted to bully tactics, like spoiled kids who didn't like that they were being out-played and out-classed.
Here's some links to advanced stats, with highlights after the jump.
[Boxscore] [Head to head time on ice] [Shot differential (Fenwick/Corsi] [Faceoffs]
Mike Richards scored 31 seconds into the game off of a rebound from a drive to the net by Dustin Penner. Kopitar followed it up with a brilliant shorthanded goal with less than six minutes left:
The rest of the 1st saw all the Kings' top 6 forwards rack up points, as they closed out the period with two late goals by Jeff Carter and Anze Kopitar (his second of the game).
The Kings weren't ready for the 2nd period. They allowed a tip in goal by Andy McDonald when they skated right by a routine dump in that ended up being picked up by a Blues player and centered. But just 1 minute and 8 seconds later, Justin Williams put them ahead by four again.
St.Louis would score again in the 3rd in a final period that only saw spotted hockey play. There were more stoppages because of penalties and nonsense then there were for commercial breaks or regular breaks in play.
St.Louis was clearly trying to send a message. Surprisingly, the Kings seem used to it now. They ended the season against San Jose, who successfully took the Kings off their game in the final two contests of the season. Drawing lessons from that turned out to be a blessing for the team when they went on to play Vancouver.
The Vancouver Canucks engaged in nonsense in the opposite order from the Blues, however. They tried shenanigans first, and by the time they decided to play hockey, the Kings already had a 3-0 series lead. St.Louis at least tried to play first, but they've lost the discipline that had carried them through the season. It only took 4 periods of hockey before they ended up looking just like the Vancouver Canucks.
The 2 teams combined for a nice little sum of 110 PIMs, 72 of those coming in the 3rd period alone.
Bring it on, St.Louis. This team is big, strong, and skilled, having ended the last quarter of the season heading into the playoffs as the best offensive team in the Western Conference, and the 2nd best defensive team in the West during that span. They just knocked off the Presidents' Trophy winner because they couldn't match the Kings on the hockey side of things.
I leave you with where I think the nastiness should have ended (also, Hayward is a tool).