The positive for the Kings now is that they have something of a template for this situation. In the first round against Vancouver, the Kings had a chance to sweep the Canucks but they lost Game 4 at home. Faced with a flight back to Vancouver and a Game 5 against a rejuvenated Canucks team, the Kings trailed 1-0 going into the third period but won in overtime. So, the Kings know it can be done. The only difference is that there were three days between Games 4 and 5 against Vancouver, compared to only one day now. Then, the Kings had a chance to take a breath and reset a little bit. That opportunity is not there now, but the Kings’ mindset can’t change. They’ve had great success on the road during this postseason, but that will have no impact on Game 5. The Kings know how they need to play, and their success or failure in Game 5 will be a product of how closely they’re able to stay within their structure. Dustin Brown and Drew Doughty talked today about the importance of rebounding from Game 4 and not allowing the series to continue past tomorrow…
BROWN: “From a team standpoint, we definitely want to play better than we did in Game 4. But we’ve been playing good hockey. We’re a confident group, and I think we all believe we can be better in Game 5. It’s just keeping your head down and working, really. There’s always areas of improvement. Even prior to losing Game 4, we had areas we could have gotten a lot better in, and we didn’t, so as a result we (lost) Game 4, so now it’s a matter of rebounding. Nobody said the series was going to be… Three games is not a series. We need to get that fourth one.
“I think we have to prepare for a game like Game 4, in which they played their game pretty well and they had good goaltending and were really patient. We have to execute better on some of our plays. They’re a good defensive (team). Their schemes are pretty good. Maybe we’re not getting the chances, but we have to be determined and stick with it. You never know. It might take more than 60 minutes, but we have to just stick to our system and play our game.’’
DOUGHTY: “We’ve got to win this next game. We gave them hope last night. We let them into the series, and it’s 3-1. This next game is huge. If they win that one and we’re coming back, they win one more and they push it to Game 7. So we’ve got to play our best game. The last couple games, I think we’ve really slacked off and haven’t played our best hockey as a team. Going into the next one, in their barn, we’ve got to be at our best, or else things are going to change in the series. … They’re playing good, too. It starts with their top players. Their top players played some good hockey last night, and we’ve got to match them and play better. We didn’t do that last night. So I know we’re working on that, and the next game is going to be a different story.’’