EL SEGUNDO, Calif. --
One of the mandates coach Darryl Sutter
brought with him when he took over as coach of the Los Angeles Kings
was to improve the club's home record, and he's largely done so with an 11-4-3 record at Staples Center.
What was the key?
"Get an identity," Sutter said. "Top teams have strong identities at home. In the big picture, if you're just over .500 on the road, you're a good team. But at home you better be a 70- to 80-percent deal."
A difference maker is the improved play of the top line, notably Dustin Brown
and Anze Kopitar
. Brown has 15 points in his past 11 games and Kopitar has 11 points in his past 10 games.
"You have leaders now," Sutter said. "Every day, every game. They're not just offensive princesses. They have to be 200-foot leaders … (in) practice, off ice, on ice. They have to do that for our team to be productive. That's a responsibility they want and a responsibility they need."