The game was proceeding practically at a glacial pace, one of those less-than-memorable contests you expect to see in early January.
Until the 7-minute 59-second mark in the third period.
Then a tame game suddenly turned controversial. It started when the Blues’ Magnus Paajarvi was knocked off balance by a slash from Kings left wing Milan Lucic. Then Kings defenseman Brayden McNabb checked the falling Paajarvi into the boards.
McNabb was tossed from the game and received a five-minute major for charging, and the officials got an earful from an irate Kings Coach Darryl Sutter.
The Kings managed to kill off the major penalty and carried that momentum through regulation and overtime. But the resolute Blues refused to go away and beat the Kings, 2-1, finishing it off in a shootout on Saturday night at Staples Center.
The shootout went on . . . and on . . . and on.
It was finally decided in the seventh round when Blues forward Troy Brouwer beat Kings goalie Jonathan Quick.
That ended quite a duel in the shootout between Quick and his Blues counterpart, Brian Elliott.
Through the first six rounds, the only players to convert were the Kings’ Marian Gaborik and the Blues’ Alexander Steen.
Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter, Tyler Toffoli, Tanner Pearson, Dustin Brown and newcomer Vinny Lecavalier were all unable to solve Elliott in the shootout.
For the Blues, it was their first regular-season victory at Staples Center since Feb. 17, 2011, ending the Kings’ six-game winning streak at home against St. Louis.
“I thought the effort was there and the penalty kill was definitely up to par,” Kopitar said. “Anytime you kill a five-minute major, it gives you some momentum. But you have to score a few more goals to win at home.”
Sutter was asked about if the call on McNabb had been the right one.
“Yeah, that’s why I was hollering at ‘em, telling them it was a great call,” he said, sarcastically.
The motto for the Kings in this one should have been: Beware the wounded.
The Blues had, not one, but three players injured against the Ducks in Anaheim on Friday night and were without them Saturday against the Kings.
The three regulars were goalie Jake Allen, defenseman Jay Bouwmeester and forward Paul Stastny. And then they lost another, Paajarvi, for a good chunk of the third period and overtime. The teams traded second-period goals. First, a highlight-reel effort from Kopitar, who beat Elliott with a back-hander up high at 9:54.
Then St. Louis quickly equalized it as defenseman Alex Pietrangelo beat Quick with a shot from the middle of the left circle at 12:33.
Follow Lisa Dillman on Twitter @reallisa