The Los Angeles Kings continued their strong push in the playoffs with a resounding victory over the St. Louis Blues that extended their lead in the series to three games to none. Mike Richards lead the Kings with a Gordie Howe hat trick on Thursday night and Drew Doughty had his biggest game of the 2012 calendar year, notching a goal and two assists. With Thursday’s win, the Kings have a chance to wrap up the series on Sunday with a win in Game 4.
Justin Williams opened the scoring for the Kings with 6:27 remaining in the first period on a nice feed by Doughty and a lucky bounce off the back of St. Louis goaltender Brian Elliott‘s leg. The Blues would answer in the second period on a goal by Chris Stewart who was re-inserted into the lineup for Game 3. Dwight King was quick to reply with his first ever Stanley Cup Playoff goal just 40 seconds after the Blues got on the board. Richards then tallied the first powerplay goal of the series, to put the Kings up 3-1. In the third period, Chris Stewart got his second goal of the game when a sprawling Jonathan Quick could not get his left leg over in time to block the open net. Doughty then scored on a feed from Richards that trickled through Elliott’s 5-hole. The Kings would hold on to win from that point on and secured their seventh win in eight games in this years playoffs. The Kings have not trailed on the scoreboard since 4:02 of the first period in Game 1 and continued their excellent play through Game 3. It took a complete team effort, and although Quick was not on the top of his game, the Kings still found a way to win with some of their biggest names, like Richards and Doughty, contributing in a big way. The Kings are just one win away from their second trip in franchise history to the Western Conference Finals, with the last one coming in 1993.