LOS ANGELES -- When Jonathan Quick rapped his goal stick on his posts as the buzzer sounded, the sellout crowd unleashed 11 years of deferred playoff excitement on their Los Angeles Kings.
After so many false starts and failures, the long-suffering Kings are on the verge of an unlikely breakthrough.
The mighty Vancouver Canucks? They're on the brink of collapse.
Quick made 41 saves, Dustin Brown scored on a long rebound with 13:30 to play, and the eighth-seeded Kings pushed Vancouver to the edge of a shocking playoff ouster with a 1-0 victory in Game Three on Sunday night.
Brown sparked the Kings with a crushing second-period hit on Vancouver captain Henrik Sedin, and his fourth goal of a stellar series put the Kings one win away from their first playoff series victory since 2001. They couldn't celebrate until Quick finished off his second career playoff shutout after posting a club-record 10 in the regular season.
"We've gone through a lot this year, but we've always battled out and found a way," Brown said. "It's important for us to understand that we can't take it easy now that we have a three-game lead but it feels great to have an opportunity to close out a series at home."
Help may be on the way for Vancouver. Daniel Sedin is returning to practice with the Canucks as they attempt to avoid a shocking playoff exit.
Sedin has been sidelined with an apparent concussion for 12 games, including the Canucks' three straight losses to the Angeles Kings.