ANAHEIM -- The top players on the Anaheim Ducks talked at length about needing to be better after Game 2 of this Western Conference Second Round Series against the Los Angeles Kings.
Forwards Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry have responded with strong efforts in Games 3 and 4 to get the Ducks back into the series. Now the chatter is similar down the hallway.
After dominating the end of a Western Conference First Round series against the San Jose Sharks and helping the Kings take a 2-0 lead against the Ducks, the top guns for Los Angeles have gone silent of late. The best-of-7 series is tied 2-2 with Game 5 on Monday at Honda Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).
What has stood out about the Ducks' style of play the past couple games?
"Just how well they keep you to the outside," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. "Our top players, our offensive players, and not just the forwards -- that is, defensemen too -- have to fight through that. We have to get through that a lot more, the blocking and the interference and clogging up the front of the net. We have to a better job with that in order to score goals."
Forward Anze Kopitar still leads the NHL in scoring during the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but has one point in the past two games. Forwards Marian Gaborik, Dustin Brown and Justin Williams, and defenseman Drew Doughty, combined for one point in those two games at Staples Center. Forwards Jeff Carter and Mike Richards did each score a goal in Game 3.
Ducks rookie goaltender John Gibson shut the Kings out in Game 4, which was his first NHL playoff start.
"If you want to win, you have to slot their players and they have to play at their abilities," Brown said. "The best players have to be the best players, and I think we can be better from top to bottom. It is about getting yourself ready individually. When we do that as individuals, collectively we become a lot better team.
"I think it is just finishing chances we had. We had a lot of really good chances but didn't put them in the net. Gibson played well, but at the same time we need to bear down when we get those Grade A scoring chances."
The Kings did not have a full morning skate, and there were no line rushes. Forward Jordan Nolan did come off the ice early with the other players who have been in the lineup. He could replace Kyle Clifford on Los Angeles' fourth line.
Here are the projected lineups:
Marian Gaborik – Anze Kopitar – Dustin Brown
Tanner Pearson – Jeff Carter – Tyler Toffoli
Dwight King – Jarret Stoll – Justin Williams
Jordan Nolan – Mike Richards – Trevor Lewis
Jake Muzzin – Drew Doughty
Jeff Schultz – Slava Voynov
Alec Martinez – Matt Greene
Scratched: Colin Fraser, Nick Shore, Scott Sabourin, Brayden McNabb, Andrew Bodnarchuk, Linden Vey, Jordan Weal, Colin Miller, Andy Andreoff, Andrew Campbell, Derek Forbort, Kyle Clifford
Injured: Robyn Regehr (undisclosed), Willie Mitchell (undisclosed)
Devante Smith-Pelly - Ryan Getzlaf –Corey Perry
Patrick Maroon - Mathieu Perreault - Teemu Selanne
Jakob Silfverberg – Saku Koivu – Andrew Cogliano
Daniel Winnik – Nick Bonino – Kyle Palmieri
Cam Fowler – Ben Lovejoy
Hampus Lindholm – Francois Beauchemin
Bryan Allen – Sami Vatanen
Scratched: Mark Fistric, Rickard Rakell
Injured: Matt Beleskey (lower body), Tim Jackman (hand), Stephane Robidas (leg), Sheldon Souray (wrist)