The task for the Los Angeles Kings is simple. Win, against the Sharks in Game 5 of their first round NHL playoff series Saturday night at HP Pavilion in San Jose. The Kings lost both games at Staples Center and trail the series 3-1. Tonight's 7:30 p.m. PDT game will be televised by Prime Ticket and Versus.
After taking a 4-0 lead early in Game 3, the Kings have been outscored 12-4 by San Jose. Still, Jonathan Quick will remain in goal for L.A. tonight in San Jose. "No change in goal. Absolutely not," coach Terry Murray told NHL.com. "Jonathan Quick’s our goaltender. He’s our No. 1 guy, period. Those goals that we’re seeing coming against us right now are a result of team play. Everybody is involved in it. He has played good."
Quisp of the SB Nation blog Jewels From The Crown thinks that for the Kings to comeback, they have to stay disciplined, rather than the nebulous talk of "stepping up":
When you play a rigorous defensive system, stepping up doesn't mean squat. The system is, essentially, a fluid sequence of actions and reactions. If they do this, you do that. If he plays the puck x, you counter y. The system requires that every player trust that every other player is going to do exactly what he is supposed to do under the system.
Any new action, any variation, any stepping up of any kind, will, at best -- if you're lucky -- require everyone else on the ice to adapt very quickly to a new situation. Something that hasn't been happening all year is now happening. But the team has been playing within the system for two years or longer. You can't just suddenly start calling audibles and expect no unforeseen consequences.
For more news and information on the Kings, or this first-round matchup with the Sharks, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Jewels From The Crown.