It’s tough to overstate the importance of balance for a hockey team, especially in the playoffs. Through the first eight games of this postseason, the Kings have had at least one goal from 14 different players, including 10 different forwards. Each of the top-nine forwards has scored at least one goal, as has fourth-line winger Brad Richardson. Joining that list in Game 3 was rookie Dwight King, who recorded his first NHL playoff point when he scored early in the second period to give the Kings a 2-1 lead.
This is the first NHL postseason run for the 22-year-old King, He had 23 games of playoff experience at the AHL level and also played in the WHL playoffs during his junior career, but this is an entirely new atmosphere. King was asked today about his new experiences and getting his first NHL playoff goal…
KING: “You like to chip in any way you can in these series. I found a way to get my first goal, which was key, and we got a win.’’
Question: Eight games into your NHL playoff career, what have you learned? What is different than you expected, or the same?
KING: “It’s a little more intense. Obviously everybody talks about it, but once you’re there, you live it and you learn from it. Probably the biggest thing overall is, you just enjoy it. It’s not every day you get this opportunity, so it’s been fun.’’
Question: Coming in, as you (and Jordan Nolan) have, do you understand the role that you can play, as some new blood?
KING: “We’re pretty much energy. We’re young, and it’s the first time in the playoffs for some of us. You just try to bring energy, play hard, go on the forecheck, turn over pucks, simple things like that, and provide energy for our team.’’
Question: What’s going to be the biggest thing in trying to close out this series?
KING: “It’s going to be tough. Obviously every game gets a little tougher, and the fourth one is the hardest. We’ll just kind of continue on the same theme that we’ve been doing here, playing hard, being physical, being very tight defensively, and good things will happen.’’
Question: Did you get a lot of text messages last night?
KING: “A lot of family and friends back home have been showing support throughout the playoffs, so it’s been great.’’