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'Cut it in half' is Kings' Game 3 approach

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings



GAME 3: Tonight marks Game 3 of the Kings’ Western Conference Quarterfinal series with the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks won the first two games of the series at STAPLES Center, San Jose is coming off of a 2-1 win on Saturday night. The Kings are 18-26 all-time in Game 3’s of a playoff series, they’re 3-10 all-time in best-of-seven series decisions when trailing 0-2.

MAKE IT A SERIES: The Kings are going to try to avoid going down 0-3 in a playoff series for the ninth time in club history tonight. “We have a lot more to give, and it has to start tonight,” said Drew Doughty after the morning skate. “There’s no way we can go down another game.” The Kings are 1-7 in best-of-seven series decisions when falling behind 0-3, their only series win coming in 2014 against San Jose.

LINEUP: The Kings held a morning skate at the SAP Center in anticipation of tonight’s game. Nick Shore, Andy Andreoff and Kevin Gravel remained on the ice for extra work and are the presumed healthy scratches. Kyle Clifford looks to be back in the lineup after being scratched Saturday night. Alec Martinez did not take the ice. Jonathan Quick left the ice first and will start in net.

FORWARDS

GABORIK – KOPITAR – LUCIC
PEARSON – CARTER – TOFFOLI
KING – LECAVALIER – CLIFFORD
BROWN – LEWIS – VERTSEEG
(SHORE – ANDREOFF)

DEFENSEMEN

MCNABB – DOUGHTY
MUZZIN – SCHENN
SCUDERI – MCBAIN
(MARTINEZ – GRAVEL)

GOALTENDERS

QUICK
(ENROTH)

THE LAST TIME AROUND: In Game 2 of the series Saturday night at STAPLES Center, the Kings fell to the Sharks 2-1. San Jose scored on their first shot of the game when Joe Pavelski netted his third goal of the series. Logan Couture scored a power play goal in the second, Vincent Lecavalier got the Kings on the board with 5:01 left to play in regulation. Jonathan Quick made 21 saves in the loss.

AT THE TANK: The Sharks struggled on home ice during the regular season, registering the Western Conference’s third-worst record in their own building with a 18-20-3 mark. The Kings posted a 2-1-0 record in three regular season visits to San Jose’s SAP Center, winning 4-1 on October 22, 3-2 in OT on January 24, and falling 5-2 on March 28. The Kings are 4-6 in the team’s 10 playoff games played in San Jose, dating back to the 2011 postseason, two of the losses have come in overtime.

CUT IT IN HALF: For the Kings, it’s about a one game at a time approach. “I think the key thing is to cut it in half tonight,” Tanner Pearson said Monday morning. That simple, short-sighted approach is what helped the 2014 club overcome a 0-3 series deficit to the Sharks in 2014. “Just think, if you can cut it in half, it’s two-one,” Darry Sutter said. “It’s not that hard to figure out.”

WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch the ‘Kings Live’ pregame show at 7:00 PM PST on Prime Ticket, followed with Nick Nickson and Jim Fox on the live play-by-play call from SAP Center for puck drop just after 7:30. You can listen to Jon Rosen and Daryl Evans call the action over the radio airwaves on AM 790 KABC.

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