Another game, another day to clinch the Stanley Cup for the Los Angeles Kings. We're back at Staples Center for Game 5 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final on Friday night, and after a dominating performance in which the Kings really, really should have won the game and the Cup, both teams will be looking for changes tonight.
For the Kings, it's not so much a change in process as a change in result. A puck that slides over the goal line instead of sitting in a snow bank. One extra shot that beats Henrik Lundqvist instead of being kicked aside by his leg. For the Rangers, after they basically held on for dear life in the latter part of the hockey game in Game 4, they know they need to be better to extend the series.
Stanley Cup Final
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Stanley Cup Final
"They had a strong push," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said of the Kings in Game 4. "I mean, they're a good team. They threw a lot of pucks at the net. There's always bodies at the net. It makes it real challenging for your team defensively. I thought for the most part offensively we didn't have much of a push. But we defended I thought in the third better than we did in the second, where in the second after they scored that goal we sort of played on our heels a little bit. We gave up a few rush chances. That didn't happen in the third, so... You know, we found a way to win. We had no choice. We have no choice tomorrow."
The Kings will be back in front of their home crowd, and it's obvious they don't want to hop back on a cross-country flight to play Game 6 in New York on Monday night. Darryl Sutter is a mad scientist, though, and would not say that he wants a better start. He doesn't even know what a start is.
"How important is a good start?" Sutter repeated the reporters question. "Well, that's why they put time on the clock always, that's when it starts. Then you get 30, 40 seconds of it, then somebody else gets to go. It's not just the start. I mean, what does 'start' mean? Does that mean shift, period, till the first time out, O zone, neutral zone, D zone, faceoff? What does it mean?"
No clue, Darryl. No clue.
Lineups are expected to be the same. The only potential changes could be Dan Carcillo's addition to the lineup for New York. He was eligible to return to the lineup in Game 4 after a suspension, and there was talk that he'd play, but he would up being a healthy scratch. Defenseman Robyn Regehr could check in for the Kings, but that seems unlikely at this stage as well.
New York Rangers at Los Angeles Kings
Game 5, Stanley Cup Final | Kings lead, 3-1
8 p.m. ET | Staples Center | Los Angeles, Calif.