LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Kings know all about the creeping inevitability that sets in when a team gets behind 0-3 in a playoff series. After all, that’s where they put every opponent they faced on the way to the Stanley Cup title last year.
With more big points from their Siberian defenseman and even more big saves from their champion goalie, Los Angeles stayed safely out of that hole in the Western Conference finals.
Slava Voynov had a goal and an assist, Jonathan Quick made 19 saves, and Los Angeles beat Chicago, 3-1, in Game 3 Tuesday night, trimming the Blackhawks’ series lead to 2-1.
‘‘This is kind of what I expected this to be when we did it last year,’’ captain Dustin Brown said. ‘‘Last year, we were playing at a level few teams ever play at. This year, it’s taking that extra effort out of us.’’
Game 4 is Thursday night in Los Angeles.
Justin Williams also scored and Dwight King added an empty-net goal in the defending NHL champions’ 15th consecutive home victory since March. The Kings never trailed while ending the top-seeded Blackhawks’ five-game postseason winning streak, but they had to survive a tense third period with Quick’s brilliance and a strong defensive effort, avoiding that nearly insurmountable three-game deficit.
‘‘It’s not something we wanted to try and test out, so it was certainly a must-win in our situation,’’ Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi said. ‘‘We were just able to be aggressive instead of sitting back and letting them dictate the pace this time. That’s what we have to do to compete with those guys.’’
Jeff Carter had two assists in an inspired effort, despite the absence of injured linemate Mike Richards, and Voynov had his fourth multipoint game in a prolific postseason. Every time the Blackhawks mounted their speedy attack, the Kings survived with solid defense and fortunate bounces — a combination they've been getting all spring at Staples Center.
Although they can’t explain it, the Kings have won all eight of their home playoff games — nine straight dating to last season’s title clincher. After their 16-4 roll through last season’s playoffs, not much has been easy this year for the Kings, who haven’t scored more than two goals without an empty-netter in their last eight games.
‘‘We have a certain way we need to play,’’ Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr said. ‘‘For whatever reason, we do a heck of a good job of it at home, and not as good on the road.’’
Bryan Bickell scored and Corey Crawford stopped 25 shots for the Blackhawks, who chased Quick from Game 2 and earned back-to-back home victories to open the series.
The Kings had lost five of their previous seven playoff games before getting back to friendly Staples Center and their sellout crowd. Quick also returned to Conn Smythe Trophy form in Game 3, highlighted by a dazzling late save on Bickell, while his low-scoring teammates generated just enough offense to hold off the Blackhawks.
‘‘They play a lot better at home,’’ Crawford said. ‘‘They were buzzing. They were running around a little bit more than in Chicago, but we were ready for that. We knew they would come harder. We were almost there. We almost tied it.’’