Put them together, and it’s a controlled brawl punctuated by bursts of offense — the slight majority from the Kings, who won Game 5 on Slava Voynov’s overtime goal.
“Both teams have some pretty physical guys, and part of what makes both teams successful is hard puck battles,” Brown said Thursday after the Kings returned from St. Louis. “When you have two teams that are like that, there’s going to be more physical play, I think. There hasn’t been a lot of open ice in the series. All the goals that have been scored are on odd-man rushes. All the other times, the ice is so hard to gain an advantage on with guys running into each other.”
Although the Kings have won three straight with the same relentless push they made to the Cup last season, the series has been awfully close in every aspect — no surprise from two tough Western Conference teams with similar makeups and attitudes. Every game has been decided by one goal, and neither team has held a large lead for any significant amount of time.
The Blues have won just one playoff series since 2002, but they’ve played right with the NHL champions through all five games. St. Louis isn’t intimidated — but it desperately needs to get a few more timely goals past Jonathan Quick.
“We’re still positive,” St. Louis defenseman Barret Jackman said. “We still feel we have a very good team that can skate with L.A. We’ve got to continue to wear them down, go into L.A. and continue to do the little things that we did (in Game 5).”