History is not on the Kings’ side, though two players with key experience are.
Only three teams have come back from three-nothing series deficits to win a seven-game Stanley Cup Playoffs series. Toronto erased a three-nothing deficit to Detroit in the 1942 Stanley Cup Final, the 1975 New York Islanders defeated Pittsburgh in a league quarterfinal, and Philadelphia upended Boston in the 2010 Eastern Conference semifinals.
Mike Richards captained the 2010 Flyers team, and one of his teammates was Jeff Carter.
“Just play each game and don’t worry about what’s ahead of you,” Richards said after Tuesday’s 4-3 overtime loss placed the Kings in a similar hole. “We just have to have a mindset of winning the next game and going from there.”
Matt Carle, one of his teammates with the 2010 Flyers, was eliminated earlier in the evening when Montreal completed a four-game series sweep of Tampa Bay. Carle spoke with the Tampa Bay Times about the mentality of a team attempting to overcome one of sports’ most notorious deficits.
“You think about the task at hand, not trying to win four straight,” he told Damian Cristodero. “You lose three and it seems like the world is collapsing a little bit. To win four straight seems pretty tough, but you win one and you get some momentum going.”
Mike Richards, on what went wrong after quality chances early in overtime:
Well they got the last goal, and that’s usually how it goes – one team plays well in overtime, then the other team goes and scores on their first chance. It’s obviously very disappointing, and we still have to play better to win.
Richards, on how to improve neutral zone play:
Like we said, don’t turn the puck over, we have to manage the puck better and make their defense go back and get the puck every time. Every little part, we can do a better job, and if we can do that, it’s going to go a long way.
Richards, on the effectiveness of his line:
I don’t know, we had some chances but we didn’t score, so we have to find a way to contribute to the hockey game.