Kings well prepared for road test in Game 5
The Kings are focused on Game 5 after the disappointment of not winning the first Stanley Cup in franchise history on home ice dissipated into the Southern California haze.
“We feel comfortable on the road,” Kings center Anze Kopitar told reporters at the team hotel Thursday. “It’s unfortunate we couldn’t close it [Wednesday] night. But we’ll try to do it on Saturday.”
Despite the 3-1 loss in Game 4, the Kings lead the Devils in the Stanley Cup final three games to one. The Kings are 10-0 on the road in the playoffs.
Los Angeles has outscored its four opponents in the playoffs — Vancouver, St. Louis, Phoenix and the Devils — 34-15 on the road. Jonathan Quick boasts a 1.5 goals against average and .950 save percentage on the road.
Why have the Kings been so successful away from the Staples Center? According to them, it’s because they play a very simplistic game.
“We know the Prudential Center’s going to be rocking, just like when we had to go back to Phoenix and play Game 5; go back to Vancouver and play Game 5,” Kings right wing Justin Williams said. “The arenas are going to be rocking and we’ll have to be ready for them.”
Much of the credit for the Devils bringing the Kings back to Newark belongs to Martin Brodeur. He was brilliant in stopping 21-of-22 shots, including a 2-on-1 save on Kings center Trevor Lewis to keep the game scoreless. Brodeur bailed out Bryce Salvador, whose cross-ice pass in the offensive zone was intercepted by Simon Gagne to start the odd-man rush with Lewis.
“He played really well. He stopped a few breakaways,” Lewis said. “We hit a couple posts. But he’s a great goalie. We know he’s going to do that.”
Added Jeff Carter: “He did what he had to do for their team. He made the big saves; he played well.”
Despite the loss, the Kings can take positives out of Game 4. The Western Conference champions were 1-for-4 on the power play — Drew Doughty’s power play goal at 8:56 of the third period was their lone goal — and are 3-for-9 with the man advantage in the final.
The Kings also killed all three of the Devils’ power plays to improve to 14-of-14 on the penalty kill in the Stanley Cup final, and have a 93.1 percent success rate on the penalty kill in the playoffs.
“Well, what I liked is our power play moved around pretty good,” Williams said. “We had ample opportunities to score and get ourselves a lead. We weren’t able to do it. The power play’s going well.”
Follow NHL beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman for complete coverage of the Stanley Cup final.