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Kings' focus on physicality to even series in Game 4

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings

GAME 4: Tonight marks Game 4 of the Kings’ Western Conference Quarterfinal series with the San Jose Sharks. The Kings cut the series deficit in half winning Game 3 when Tanner Pearson scored 3:47 minutes into overtime. “It was just about cutting the series in half, that’s what our mindset was coming up here, we accomplished that. Recover and reload for Game 4,” said Dustin Brown. The Kings are 6-10 all-time in best-of-seven series decisions when trailing a series 1-2. The Kings are 12-29 all-time in Game 4’s of a playoff series.

LINEUP: The Kings held a morning skate at the SAP Center in anticipation of tonight’s game. The lines remained the same as they were at the end of Game 3. Andy Andreoff, Nick Shore and Kevin Gravel skated as extras, but did not stay out for an extended period of additional work. Jonathan Quick left the ice first and will start in net.







THE LAST TIME AROUND: In Game 3 of this series, the Kings won 2-1 in overtime. Joe Thornton scored 30 seconds into the game on the Sharks’ first shot to give San Jose an early 1-0 lead. Anze Kopitar tied the game midway through the first with a power play goal. Tanner Pearson netted the game-winning goal 3:47 into the first overtime to give the Kings a win. The Kings held San Jose’s power play scoreless through five attempts. Jonathan Quick made 29 saves in the win.

PK IMPORTANCE: The Kings’ held San Jose’s power play scoreless for the first time all series in Game 3, holding the Sharks to an 0-5 mark during man-advantage opportunities. “That was probably the difference in the game, our PK,” Dustin Brown said of Monday night’s win. The Sharks posted the league’s third-best power play during the regular season, chiming in with a 22.5% success rate; the Kings have held the Sharks without a goal in 12 of their 14 penalty kills this series.

HIT FACTOR: The physical play has ramped up in the series, the Kings credited with 60 hits in Monday night’s win, including a gigantic one from Dustin Brown on San Jose’s Joonas Donskoi that led to Tanner Pearson’s OT goal. “It’s a part of our game and what gives us success, so we want to keep getting in on the forecheck and keep finishing our checks, and it paid off for us on the winning goal last game,” said Milan Lucic. “When Brownie’s doing things like that, that’s when he’s helping out the team the best. Just got to keep up that physical play, and you hope that it keeps giving you some kind of success.”

VISITORS’ DELIGHT: The road team has won each game of the series thus far, much like the teams’ regular season meetings, where four of the five games went to the visiting club. The Kings have won their previous three playoff games at San Jose’s SAP Center, and are 5-6 all-time in 11 postseason visits. Dating back to April of 2014, the Kings are 6-2-0 at the SAP Center in both regular season and postseason games.

Big day at SAP

A photo posted by LA Kings (@lakings) on


WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch the ‘Kings Live’ pregame show at 7:00 PM PST on Fox Sports West, followed with Nick Nickson and Jim Fox on the live play-by-play call from the 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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