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Kings hope to rebound in Game 4

by Brian Compton

(Sharks lead best-of-seven series, 2-1)


Big story: Can the Los Angeles Kings recover from what has to be one of the most devastating losses in franchise history? Terry Murray's club will have a lot to overcome in Game 4 after it surrendered a 4-0 lead en route to a 6-5 overtime loss in Game 3 at the Staples Center.

"The bottom line, in the playoffs, is that we embarrassed ourselves," Murray said Wednesday. "We played a terrible game. Now what you have to do is, how do you deal with that kind of performance? We have to bounce back tomorrow and we have to play our best game. It's as simple as that. That's what the playoff demand. You can't linger on what has happened. You do address it, you do talk about it and have a meeting and point out several key areas that you were concerned about, as a coaching staff — which we did — and now we've got to move on."

Team Scope:

Sharks: What a remarkable comeback for the Sharks on Tuesday night, as they seemed dead in the water trailing by four goals in Los Angeles. But Devin Setoguchi completed the comeback early in the extra session, giving the Sharks a 2-1 series lead. The Sharks joined the Minnesota North Stars (1985 vs. Chicago), the Kings (1982 vs. Edmonton) and Montreal (1971 vs. Boston) as the only teams to rally from a four-goal deficit to win a playoff game. Only Chicago overcame that kind of collapse to win the series.

"It was obviously a pretty exciting game for everybody, pretty emotional," Setoguchi said. "Coming back from four goals is something that doesn't happen very often, especially in the playoffs. We worked hard and it feels pretty good."

Kings: Los Angeles was still trying to pick up the pieces Wednesday, trying to figure out exactly how it could allow a 4-0 lead to slip away on home ice. But the Kings will need to recover in a hurry if it plans on winning a playoff series for just the second time since reaching the Stanley Cup Final in 1993.

"You can't be down. That was yesterday," defenseman Matt Greene said. "Tomorrow is a new game. It's a seven-game series for a reason. You've got to move on, past these letdowns. If you dwell on this, you're not going to do yourself any favors. We'll come back and we've got to win a game.
"Everybody is professional and has been to the playoffs in the past. You know you've got to learn from your mistakes, but at the same time you can't dwell on them. You've got to move forward and get ready for tomorrow night."

Who's hot: Sharks winger Ryane Clowe has two goals and three assists in the first three games of this series. … Drew Doughty leads Los Angeles with four points (2 goals, 2 assists).

Stat pack: Antero Niittymaki relieved Antti Niemi on Tuesday night, making just his third appearance since mid-January. It was Niittymaki's first win since Dec. 21 against the Edmonton Oilers.

Puck drop: "It's small things, within the course of a series, that don't seem like big things at the time but end up being those big shifts in series. You see it, looking at each series, those defining moments. In 90 percent of these games, it's the mental game. It's confidence. The team that is feeling the confidence, feeling good about themselves, is the team that wins." -- Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell

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