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Round 2
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Stanley Cup Final

Kings seek answers from within for Game 6

By Josh Brewster - NHL.com Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- After a 7-2 throttling at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks in Game 5, the Los Angeles Kings say that the answers are in the room, not in goalie changes or changes to their scheme.

Through the first three games of the series, the Kings surrendered eight goals. In Games 4 and 5? A whopping 13.

However, a goalie change for Game 6 on Sunday night at the Staples Center is not on the horizon. Kings coach Terry Murray made that clear when pressed on the topic after Saturday's practice.

"No consideration," Murray said when asked whether he contemplated calling up Jonathan Bernier after both starter Jonathan Quick and backup Erik Ersberg surrendered seven goals on 30 shots in Game 5 on Friday night.

"Quick's the goaltender that's playing tomorrow," Murray insisted. "He's our guy. He's the guy that has done a great job for us all year long, he's rebounded from tough starts, difficult losses over the course of the year."

Murray says that Quick's bounce-back abilities will be on full display Sunday night.

"He's got great mental toughness," Murray said. "He's able to block that stuff out and come back and play a real solid game the next day."

Norris Trophy nominee Drew Doughty says the Kings' wins in Games 2 and 3 are directly attributable to his goalie's play.

"(In) both of those wins, (Quick) was unbelievable and if it wasn't for him we wouldn't have won those two games," Doughty said.

The floodgates opened in the third period of Game 4, when the Canucks scored four goals for a 6-4 comeback win. It was the first time all season that the Kings lost a game in regulation when leading after two periods.

The Kings, who have relied heavily on the power play this far in the series, are challenged to find a way to play better 5-on-5. In Game 5, the Kings were forced to the perimeter more than they'd like. Their direct-to-the-net approach has been in short supply during the series, never more so than during Friday's loss.

"I've made a couple of changes to try to generate some things in the offensive part of the game," Murray said. "Our shot mentality, our net presence, our cycle, our puck possession play, is not where it needs to be. There's been shifts, stretches of periods where it's been very good. But on a consistent basis, not quite where we need it to be to win this game tomorrow."

While their power play has gone 10-for-21, the Kings have generated only six goals at even strength.

"We're the 14th team out of the 16 (playoff teams) in terms of shots on goal average per game," Murray said. "We need to get our numbers back to where they were in the regular season."

The Canucks' confidence is sky-high, but Murray said the Kings have a solution in their locker room, not by switching goaltenders, not by major lineup shifts. The series is evenly matched, and Murray said the solution to quashing Vancouver's new-found confidence is simple.

"By our play," Murray said. "I feel that last night is an easier game to move by than what it was in Game 4, in the third period where you lose. That (was) a tough loss."

"I thought we cycled the puck a little bit, but we weren't generating at the net," Ryan Smyth told NHL.com. "We've got to get back to the little things of going to tough areas. And it's tough at times but this time of year, you've got to fight through it."

Michal Handzus, Brad Richardson and Fredrik Modin provided huge shutdown efforts against the Sedins and Alex Burrows in the Kings' two victories. Midway through Game 4, Canucks coach Alain Vigneault switched Burrows to the second line and placed Mikael Samuelsson with the Sedins. Since the switch, the Kings have struggled to contain the already-hot Samuelsson, who has potted three goals in the last two games.

Defensive zone coverage must improve for the Kings to push the series to a seventh game.

"They like give-and-go plays a lot," Jarret Stoll told NHL.com. "Usually, it's not the guy with the puck that's going to hurt you -- it's guys off the puck, and making sure that our body position is good on them. They've had some pretty darn good shots go in, but when they cycle that puck, (we have to) make sure we finish them, take them right out of the play. They like to get out off that cycle and try to beat you to that net, and they've been doing that."


I was in there icing my face as she was trying to push a baby out.

— Anaheim Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf on going to the hospital with a facial laceration while his wife was in labor following Game 1 on Wednesday