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Offense suddenly hard to come by for Kings

by Corey Masisak

NEWARK, N.J. -- After three rounds of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Los Angeles Kings looked nothing like the team that struggled to score goals before a few personnel changes in February.

After winning the first three games of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final, there were few concerns for a team won victory from a championship. Now there is -- the Kings aren't scoring goals like there were a couple of weeks ago.

Los Angeles has only eight regulation goals in five games against Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils, and four of them came in one contest. The Kings do have two overtime tallies, and that is a huge reason why they are up 3-2 in this series and not behind.

Still, 10 goals in five games looks a lot more like their output before the late-season surge and prodigious postseason run began.

"Putting pucks in the net -- I think we've been playing the same in all the games," defenseman Matt Greene said. "I think we had some fortunate bounces going our way in the first few games, and the last couple games we've had some pipes and you just got to keep plugging away, keep getting pucks to the net. They're playing good hockey. They're locking it down and their goaltender is playing well for them. We have to find a way to solve it."

The Kings scored 41 goals in 14 games in the first round, including 27 in the past nine. Los Angeles was last in the League in goals for through much of the season, but bringing Jordan Nolan and Dwight King up from the minors in February and adding Jeff Carter in a trade helped the Kings become a much better offensive team.

Now the Kings must regain their scoring touch after dropping two straight games to allow the Devils back into this series.

"We can gain confidence by sustaining the forecheck," forward Justin Williams said. "We had some good looks tonight. As I said, they blocked a lot of shots, their goalie played well and they got a timely goal."

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