They erased a 3-0 series deficit in a historic first-round victory over the San Jose Sharks, then staved off elimination in back-to-back contests against the Anaheim Ducks to win that second-round series in seven games.
And on Wednesday, trailing the Chicago Blackhawks 1-0 in the Western Conference Final, the Kings came roaring back from a two-goal deficit late in the second period to take Game 2 of the best-of-seven series by a final score of 6-2. L.A. scored six unanswered goals, five times in the third period, including twice on the power play and a hat trick from Jeff Carter.
“I don’t know. I’ve said over and over that these guys don’t like to lose and I think it just translates throughout the team,” said Kings’ forward Tanner Pearson, as per LA Kings Insider.
“Everyone wants to move onto that next step and we’re doing everything we can to get that. And we’re fortunate enough to get a win in their building.”
So far in these playoffs, the Kings, Stanley Cup champs from two years ago, are the only team to beat the Blackhawks in their home confines of the United Center and its loud and energetic crowd. The loss ended Chicago’s winning streak on home ice in this post-season at seven games.
“Well, at some point they’re going to lose a game at home. They’re not going to win every [one]. The only difference tonight and last game – we probably played better in Game 1,” said Kings head coach Darryl Sutter, as per LA Kings Insider.
“The difference tonight was not goals for, it was goals against. You give up three against them, you’re in trouble.”
It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.