Vegas tips Kings 3-2, closes in on series sweep

Haula's goal in 2nd OT gives Vegas 2-1 win over Kings

Haula's goal in 2nd OT gives Vegas 2-1 win over Kings

After stunning the hockey world and winning the Pacific Division in the regular season, the Golden Knights have now taken a 3-0 lead in their first-round series against the Los Angeles Kings.

Rookie forward Alex Iafallo got the Kings just their second goal in the series when he scored 13:14 into the first period off assists from Kopitar and Dustin Brown.

Vegas Golden Knights center Cody Eakin, right, holds Los Angeles Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin during the first period of Game 3 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series in Los Angeles, Sunday, April 15, 2018.

Linesman Derek Amell (75) separates Vegas Golden Knights left wing Erik Haula, left, and Los Angeles Kings left wing Adrian Kempe during the first period of Game 3 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series in Los Angeles, Sunday, April 15, 2018.

After opening their first postseason series with two home wins in front of their frenzied home crowd, the hockey upstarts from the desert coolly won their first road playoff game in front of an angry sellout crowd at Staples Center, where two recent Stanley Cup banners hang above the ice.

Vegas tips Kings 3-2, closes in on series sweepAP Photo LAS110, LAS112, LAS102, LAS103, LAS104Eds: APNewsNow.

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin, top, gets tangled up with Vegas Golden Knights left wing James Neal during the first period of Game 3 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series in Los Angeles, Sunday, April 15, 2018.

Jonathan Quick stopped 23 shots, but the Golden Knights' three-goal flurry doubled their goal total against him from the first 201 minutes of play in this series.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Los Angeles Kings in Game 3 of Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at T-Mobile Arena.

The Golden Knights outshot Los Angeles in regulation, 35-20. So do the Knights.

Los Angeles Kings center Alex Iafallo (19) celebrates his goal with center Anze Kopitar during the first period of Game 3 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series against the Vegas Golden Knights in Los Angeles, Sunday, April 15, 2018.

Neal, the veteran goal scorer claimed from Western Conference champion Nashville in last summer's expansion draft, put the Golden Knights ahead when he walked in and beat Quick between the legs with a snap shot. An individual effort goal from James Neal, then another from William Karlsson and Vegas had a 3-1 lead.

While the Kings are down, they know they're not out: They rallied from an 0-3 series deficit in the first round in 2014 against San Jose. Especially since they had the better of the play ffor most of this one.

"I think we all try to draw on those experiences", said Trevor Lewis on Sunday morning.

"It isn't the same team as 2012 and 2014", said Stevens, who has worked to quicken L.A.'s pace since he replaced Darryl Sutter. "I think this group has shown its ability to handle adversity whenever it's happened during the season".

"(Quick) gave us a chance to win like he always does", Kings coach John Stevens said. "We finally pushed them back to where our forwards could do some things".

The Kings came out in Game 3 determined to let Quick kick back and enjoy himself.

From the beginning of the first period the Kings wielded the hammer. Kempe kind of hovered over and shook Merrill while he was down.

Vegas Golden Knights left wing Tomas Nosek, left, battles Los Angeles Kings defenseman Dion Phaneuf for the puck during the first period of Game 3 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series in Los Angeles, Sunday, April 15, 2018. "They were coming and the guys did a great job to get the puck out". They spent much of the period in the L.A. zone, but the Kings had their shot-blocking boots on and spared Quick any undue anxiety. The captain went to the bench for a while but re-emerged at the end of the period. But the Kings, with the top penalty-killing unit in the National Hockey League during the regular-season, extinguished that power play with style.

They also got a bonus with 1.1 seconds left in the period. Doughty went after Jonathan Marchessault, who angrily swung his stick at Doughty and knocked off his helmet. As Marchessault went to the penalty box, Doughty pointed at his own brain.

Vegas' offensive burst broke open a third straight game of tense, defense-dominated playoff hockey between a franchise that won two Cups while perfecting that style and another that didn't exist a year ago. Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury had a fine game, stopping 37 of 39 shots.