The Blues also were swept out of the postseason in 2009, their only previous playoff appearance since 2004.
"The second period, we really got into our game, the way we've played all year to be successful," St. Louis captain David Backes said. "I don't think they had a ton of response for it, but they did a good job of bending and not breaking. They get credit, but we are going to have a long summer of thinking about how we could have been better in the series."
The sellout crowd for Game 4 had barely settled in its seats when Blues defenseman Roman Polak turned over the puck near his own net. Nolan, the 22-year-old son of former Buffalo coach Ted Nolan, scored his first career playoff goal just 4:36 in.
St. Louis managed just one shot in the first 11 minutes, but evened the score with its second — a rocket from Shattenkirk, who beat Quick for a rare clean goal against the Kings' All-Star goalie. Shattenkirk hadn't scored in the Blues' past seven playoff games after getting an assist for his first career postseason point in the opener.
Brown put the Kings back ahead late in the period when he used Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo as a screen for a sneaky shot to beat Elliott. The captain has been a dominant physical force throughout the postseason, but he hadn't scored a goal since Game 3 of the first round.
Afterward, Hitchcock acknowledged Pietrangelo is playing with a serious injury, but wouldn't disclose the specifics. Pietrangelo missed Game 2 after a hard hit from Dwight King in the opener.
While St. Louis dominated the second period with solid forechecking, the Kings fell into one of their biggest funks of the postseason, managing just one shot in the first 18 minutes of the period.
St. Louis again dominated early in the third, and Matt D'Agostini's deflected shot barely caught Quick's crossbar early on. During 4-on-4 play a few minutes later, David Perron nearly scored on a rebound before Kopitar slid into the crease and knocked the puck underneath Quick.
NOTES: Los Angeles' power play is in a 1-for-37 slump, but the Kings also held St. Louis scoreless on 17 power plays in the series. ... St. Louis' Chris Stewart held his finger to his lips to shush the crowd after beating up Nolan in a first-period fight. ... Kobe Bryant, Landon Donovan, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier all appeared on scoreboard videos pumping up the crowd and urging on the Kings. Bryant, who attended a Kings game late in the season with his daughters, wore a white Kings jersey.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.