Every night during the playoffs, we will wrap up all the exciting action and tell you what you need to know about the 2013-14 Stanley Cup playoffs. Welcome to What You Need To Know.
Chicago Blackhawks: For the first 40 minutes, it seemed as though the Blackhawks were right in the game and at times looked the better team. However, a rather lackluster third period to start -- mainly due to the stifling defense played by the Kings and Chicago mismanaging the puck -- really sunk the Hawks. Chicago has been knocked off its game more by the Kings than any other team this postseason, particularly in the third period. The lack of discipline in the third is the easiest thing to fix, but the more they make mistakes like that, the more they'll struggle. The Kings are just too good for Chicago to make errors like that. By the time the Blackhawks woke up in the third period, they were already down 4-2 and it was too little too late.
Los Angeles Kings: The dominance displayed by LA for essentially the first 15 minutes of the third period was incredible to watch. They haven't had to rely solely on Jonathan Quick because their ability to defend and possess the puck has really flustered Chicago late in the last two games. The thing that LA has done so well to knock off Chicago's high-powered offense, however, is in how they've almost completely shut down the Blackhawks' reliance on controlling the puck in their zone entries. The Kings defensemen and forwards are working in concert to make the defensive blue line nearly impenetrable without dumping the puck first. That's not the way Chicago has played or wants to play. The Kings weren't lights out the whole game, but when they got the lead it never seemed like they'd come close to giving it up.
Play of the Game: Tyler Toffoli's go-ahead goal in the second period was a thing of beauty. Coming off of a turnover in the neutral zone, Jeff Carter sprung Toffoli for a breakaway. He split the defense and slipped the puck just under Corey Crawford and in to make it 3-2. With the lead, the Kings took over the game.
Player of the Game: Early in the game it looked like this would be Jonathan Toews, but Jeff Carter had other ideas. He scored the Kings' second goal and assisted on the other two that sandwiched his marker. Along with Toffoli and Tanner Pearson, the Carter line has been utterly dominant against the Blackhawks these last two games and for a lot of the series. They were as good as ever in Game 3, but Carter was especially dominant and may deserve some Conn Smythe consideration as he nears the postseason point lead with 19 now.
Turning Point: Though the Kings took the lead in the second period, they didn't really take control of the game until the third period. Through a dominance in puck possession and capitalizing on a terrible penalty taken by Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival,the Kings put a stranglehold on the game. At one point in the third, the Kings held a 12-2 shot advantage. By the time Chicago was able to gain some momentum, it was too late to mount a comeback.
GIF of the Game: The GIF of the game also belongs to the Fan of the Game. Look at this little Kings fan, just high-fivin' everyone, wearin' a Thor hat. Hope he made it to the end of the game. It was a good one for his club. GIF via @myregularface: