NHL Playoffs 2012 Video: Watch Quick, Kings Salvage Their Sweep of Blues

Until team captain Dustin Brown inserted an empty-netter with 26 seconds left in regulation, the Los Angeles Kings harbored a brittle 2-1 lead for over 41 straight minutes Sunday afternoon.

In that time, a single favorable bounce for the St. Louis Blues would, at best, have threatened to push the Kings’ bid for a sweep of the Western Conference semifinals to overtime. At worst, it would have granted St. Louis a most untimely second wind, whether that lasted for the rest of the day or the rest of the week.

But after a relatively inactive opening frame saw him authorize one goal on four shots faced, Kings backstop and backbone Jonathan Quick was not about to succumb to frostbite or complacency. He repelled each of 13 bids for an equalizer in the second period, followed by seven in the third.

Of those 20 stops that were sandwiched by Brown’s go-ahead goal and insurance strike, no two were of more spectacular significance than the pair that fell shortly after the halfway mark of the third period.

With the 2-1 advantage just barely 32 minutes old and in the midst of a four-on-four segment, Blues defenseman Kris Russell converged with the puck on a vacant patch of ice in the high slot.

Russell’s 30-foot wrister penetrated a screen on the porch and rolled off of Quick’s right arm, then banked off his leg pad into free range. St. Louis forward David Perron took a stab at the soapy rebound, which eventually found oncoming teammate Alex Pietrangelo before a gaping near slab of the net.

But Quick lived up to his surname and continued to evoke memories of Dominik Hasek in his “slinky for a spine days” with the Buffalo Sabres. He laid down his trapper and, with the aid of Anze Kopitar, summoned a whistle with 9:42 to spare in regulation and the one-goal differential intact.

And not unlike those Buffalo teams of the late 1990s, these Kings are now fast-tracking ...

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