Even an early fight between B.J. Crombeen and Dwight King, whose boarding penalty knocked out star defenseman Alex Pietrangelo in Game 1, failed to provide a spark.
Pietrangelo was a Game 2 scratch but with a lower body injury rather than a concussion-related issue as had been feared after he crashed face-first into the boards near the end of the second period. He could return for Game 3.
"He tried it today and he's still sore," Hitchcock said. "It's a big hole, not a lot different than if they lost (Drew) Doughty. We need him back in the lineup."
The charge began from the opening faceoff, with Richards scoring from the slot on the game's first shot 31 seconds in after Penner dangled the puck near the net for several seconds before tossing it out.
The Kings had an 8-0 shots advantage before Quick finally faced a shot at 9:21, then handled the Blues' power play for their second short-handed goal of the series when Brown stole the puck from Carlo Colaiacovo in the St. Louis zone and fed it in front to Kopitar, who had enough time to stretch Elliott across the crease to the breaking point.
That was just the second two-goal deficit of the playoffs for the Blues, the first coming on an empty-net goal in the Kings' 3-1 Game 1 victory. The Kings were just getting warmed up, adding two goals in a span of three shots late in the period.
Carter's shot on a rush deflected high off Roman Polak and right back to his stick, and he beat Elliott with a high shot at 18:37. And with 16.8 seconds left, Kopitar batted in a feed from Williams.
Counting the regular season and playoffs, Kopitar has 11 goals and 30 points in 25 career games against St. Louis.
NOTES: The Blues allowed three goals in a period eight times, the last time Feb. 22, in a 4-2 loss to Boston. ... St. Louis allowed three short-handed goals in the regular season. ... Brown is the first player with four short-handed points in the playoffs since Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg had five points in 2008.
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