Slava Voynov, Jonathan Quick Shine as Kings Take Game 3
NHL 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs
Los Angeles, CA
Slava Voynov recorded a goal and an assist while Jonathan Quick had 19 saves as the defending champion Los Angeles Kings downed the Chicago Blackhawks, 3-1, in Game 3 of the Western Conference final at Staples Center.
Justin Williams and Dwight King also scored for the Kings, who cut the Blackhawks' lead in the best-of-seven series to 2-1 and improved to 8-0 in the postseason in their building.
Los Angeles has won 15 games in a row at Staples Center dating back to the regular season
"We have to get another win," Kings defenseman Matt Greene said. "We have to go back into their building even up, and that's it, so emotions are going to run high. It's a big time of the year. It's fun to be playing right now and we're excited."
Bryan Bickell scored the lone goal while goaltender Corey Crawford tallied 25 saves for the Blackhawks.
"We stayed with it, we stayed positive, I think we had quite a few chances late in the game," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. "We were finally starting to get to that level we need to be, but we just didn't do it for 60 minutes."
Williams gave the Kings the lead for the third time in four games with the lone goal of the opening period. He received the puck from Voynov on the left circle and smacked a shot past Crawford at 3:21 for his team-leading sixth goal of the playoffs.
"I think we started off the game exactly how we wanted," Williams said. "We got it in, we created pressure, created turnovers and didn't allow them to transition through the neutral zone, which they like."
Los Angeles took a 2-0 lead early in the second period when Voynov picked up a lost puck and swatted it past Crawford at 6:37 of the second.
The goal was Voynov's fifth in the postseason, which ties Boston's Johnny Boychuk for the most among defensemen. He has also tied Bruins captain Zdeno Chara for second in points at the position with 11, behind only Pittsburgh's Kris Letang, who has 16.
Chicago was able to get on the board late in the second period when Bickell collected an unmarked puck and beat Quick on a wraparound try. However, King iced the game with an empty-net goal at 19:32.
Blackhawks' Duncan Keith suspended for Game 4 for high sticking
Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith has been suspended one game for high sticking Los Angeles Kings' Jeff Carter in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals.
The high stick occurred after Carter took a short hack at Keith's hand while the defenseman bent down to pick up his glove.
Keith swung his stick upward and hit Carter's face, causing the latter to fall on the ice. Carter suffered a gash that required 20 stitches, chipped a tooth, and missed the Kings' ensuing four-minute power play, which went nowhere. The former was penalized with a four-minute double minor.
After the game Keith insists that it was an accident. But NHL vice president of player safety Brendan Shanahan disagreed with him.
"It is not an accidental high stick nor is it a defensive high stick to an opponent. This is a retaliatory high stick to an opponent that causes an injury," said Shanahan in a video on NHL.com.
Having also been suspended five games for an illegal hit on the Vancouver Canucks' Daniel Sedin in 2012, Shanahan also called Keith a repeat offender.
Defenseman Sheldon Brookbank is likely to replace Keith in the Blackhawks' lineup for Game 4. Brookbank appeared in 26 regular-season games but has been a healthy scratch throughout the playoffs.
Blackhawks sign Finnish netminder Antti Raanta
Superstar free-agent Finnish goaltender Antti Raanta has signed an entry-level one-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks.
The 24-year-old Raanta earned a 21-10-11 record with five shutouts, a 1.85 goals-against average and a .943 save percentage in 45 games last season with Assat Pori of SM-liiga.
Raanta led the league in goals-against average and save percentage, and ranked fifth in shutouts, while leading his team to the 2013 SM-liiga championship, earning him the best goaltender, regular season and playoff Most Valuable Player awards.
The 6-foot, 182-pound goaltender posted a 4-3 record with a 2.09 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage for his native Finland in the 2013 IIHF World Championship. He was named as one of the country's top three players by the tournament coaches.
In five seasons with Lukko Rauma and Assat Pori of SM-liiga from 2007 to 2012, Raanta has registered a 48-27-16 record.
The Blackhawks could put Raanta as replacement to backup goaltender Ray Emery, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent in July. Starting goaltender Corey Crawford has one year remaining on his contract.
Slava Voynov, Jonathan Quick Shine as Kings Take Game 3
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