LOS ANGELES -- In order to feel more like home, the Kings are staying in a hotel downtown and practically treating Thursday like a road game.
L.A. hardly ever has a morning skate at Staples Center, which also hosts the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers. But coach Darryl Sutter wanted his players get more familiar with their game rink. The Kings have not played at home since April 18, more than two weeks ago.
"I haven't been downtown very much," Sutter quipped when asked about changing the routine.
L.A.'s home record isn't a laughing matter, though. The Kings, whose 5-0 road playoff record matches the 2003-04 Tampa Bay Lightning, are only 1-1 at home in the playoffs. They were 22-14-5 at Staples Center in the regular season, which ranked 19th in the League.
"I personally liked it," Jarret Stoll said. "The ice is a little bit different than our practice facility so it's good to get on the ice, get your edges going and just snapping the puck around in a kind of a familiar setting. I don't mind it."
Sutter on Doughty: Sutter had an interesting take on Drew Doughty, who seems to elevate his game for the postseason after a somewhat quiet regular season.
Doughty, 22, is known for his offensive dynamic, and Sutter said the other part of his game can come around.
"I think he's learning how to be better defensively," Sutter said. "I'm not saying he's miscast or anything like that, but for a kid that plays that many minutes, it was probably forced on him a little bit. … He has all the natural ability … it's just a matter of knowing when to use it and when not to use it. From a defensive standpoint, he's probably got a long ways to go."
Sutter added that, "From my standpoint … I think that he's just scratching the offensive part of it -- when to use it and how to use it."
Your team is going to want to recapture the feeling. What they're going to have to figure out is they're going to have to rewrite the story. Because you're going to rewrite the story doesn't mean you want a different end. It's just that you're going to have to learn that there's different challenges to get there, and if you're going to try and tap the same feeling, it ain't going to happen.
— Los Angeles Kings general manager Dean Lombardi on maintaining their success from last season