Tomorrow, the Kings will try to do what they couldn’t do in the first round of the playoffs: close out a series in Game 4 on home ice. The Kings led the series against the Canucks 3-0, with a chance to close out on April 18, but the Canucks won 3-1. The Kings didn’t play a bad game. They led 1-0 after the first period, but the Canucks tied the game 4:07 into the second period with their first power-play goal of the series, then took the lead at the 8:36 mark. The Kings had a chance to tie the game with a third-period penalty shot but didn’t score, and the Canucks took a two-goal lead 22 seconds later.
Did the Kings take anything away from that game that can help them against the Blues tomorrow? Justin Williams and Dustin Brown gave similar answers, both centering around the idea of a strong start.
WILLIAMS: “That Game 4 in that Vancouver series, we thought it was there for us early. They were kind of waiting to see how we were going to play. When we didn’t get that two-goal cushion, it gave them life. I think, tomorrow, we need to continue with that, and give them a reason to think that it’s too hard. If you give any team any life, especially St. Louis — they’ve rattled off four in a row, I’m sure, quite a few times this year — you want to keep the foot down, you want to keep the pedal down. We need our special teams to keep being good, and our power play to score a couple goals, because that would be pretty deflating for them.’’
BROWN: “We had a good start in Game 4 against Van, but we had chances to really take the game and we didn’t. That’s something that we have to be aware of here. We have to get off to a good start against St. Louis. They’re in a tough spot, and it’s a hard thing to battle back from. If we can make it really hard on them in the first period, or get a lead in the first, that’s huge. It’s going to be key for us.’’