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Kings aim to continue road success in Game 2

by Louie Korac /

CHESTERFIELD, Mo. -- The Los Angeles Kings obviously don't mind playing the role of road warriors.

With their 3-1 win at St. Louis Saturday night in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals, the Kings are now a perfect 4-0 away from Staples Center in the playoffs and 6-0 dating back to last spring.

However, there was no rest for the weary even after gaining a 1-0 series edge, as the Kings got back to work Sunday at the Hardee's Iceplex. But there was a group of players who took in the baseball game Sunday afternoon at Busch Stadium between the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers.

"We've been treating each game as an individual game," said Kings winger Dustin Penner, who tallied a goal and an assist Saturday night. "I know it's cliche to say that, but it's a lot harder to do it and not look too far ahead. We've just been playing every game as a one-game season."

"We're going to have to be because we're only .500 at home," added Kings coach Darryl Sutter, whose team split two home games in the first round with Vancouver. "That won't get you very far."

The eighth-seeded Kings fell behind the Blues 1-0 Saturday, and had it not been for some timely, clutch saves from Jonathan Quick early in the game, the deficit could have been bigger.

"We were probably fortunate to be out of it 1-0 seven or eight minutes into it," Sutter said. "They're a good hockey club. They're a very good home team."


Kings shut down Blues 3-1 in opener

By Louie Korac - Correspondent
Defensemen Slava Voynov and Matt Greene scored their first career playoff goals and Jonathan Quick stopped 28 shots as the Kings beat the Blues 3-1 on Saturday night at Scottrade Center to take a 1-0 lead in this Western Conference Semifinal series. READ MORE ›

But as the game progressed, the Kings found familiar elements of road success and used them to their advantage.

"Just simple. Making sure all those little decisions with the puck, without the puck, that you're doing it," center Jarret Stoll said. "The right attitude, good goaltending, special teams, all those things. There's so many things that go into it. You need some luck, you need some good bounces here and there. We've definitely had all those.

"We found our game, we found our legs a little bit there in the second and third. ... There's areas of our game we can definitely be better; we're seeing that, we know that, and that's what we're going to focus on [in] Game 2."

After allowing the Blues to get a push on the interior levels of the ice, the Kings began to push St. Louis to perimeters and limit their chances from close-in range.

"You always want to do that," center Anze Kopitar said. "If you give up those outside shots, we're very confident in Jonathan that he's going to make those saves. I think everybody's defensive plan has that drawn up, where you want to push the other team to the outside. All in all, I thought we did a pretty good job.

"We've been playing some good hockey on the road and at home. Just because we've done it on the road a few more times, it gives us some confidence and obviously gives us the momentum going home every time. That's what you need in the playoffs."

A win Monday puts the Kings in a great position heading home for Game 3 Thursday night, but it won't come easily.

"They're going to be coming out harder than they did because they're desperate," Penner said of the Blues.

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