Previewing the Los Angeles Kings' 2013-14 West Quarter-Final:
Game 5 @ San Jose
April 26, 2014
7pm PST (10pm EST)
SJ leads series 3-1
The Los Angeles Kings have lived to play another day. But now, they must travel to enemy territory if they hope to extend this series even further and it will be no easy task.
So far this series, the SAP Center has not been kind to the silver-and-black who were outscored 13-5 in Games 1 and 2. In those two games, the Kings were outshot, outhit and both the defensive unit and netminder Jonathan Quick were outplayed. After their effort in Game 4, however, fans hope to witness a new beast on Saturday night as, on Thursday, the Kings showed that they were downright fed up with getting pushed around.
Mike Brown, who had been antagonizing Jonathan Quick for the first three games of this series, got his in Game 4 when No. 32 fought back even more. In addition, both Brown and Raffi Torres looked rattled by the latter stages of Game 4 and if Los Angeles hopes to pull out another win, they will have to use the same tactics on Saturday that they used on Thursday.
Aside from intimidation factors, the Kings received offensive support from a few players who hadn't been delivering thus far.
After a quiet first two games, Marian Gaborik now has three goals in his last two outings, including a two-goal performance on Thursday. Also with a pair of goals in Game 4 was Justin Williams who, despite his knack for being a clutch playoff performer, hasn't produced in the first three games of the series. Even captain Dustin Brown, who had been struggling mightily up front, scored a goal and an assist in addition to a few key hits. Mike Richards also added an assist and the birthday boy, Tyler Toffoli, notched his first goal of the postseason on Thursday.
Prior to Game 4, Los Angeles head coach Darryl Sutter changed up the lines and it worked wonders. However, the Kings are still being outshot by the Sharks and while they have turned the tide in the hits departments in recent games, they still need to generate more shots and preventing more from reaching Quick.
The Sharks do not have any shortage of offensive threats. Joe Pavelski scored on Thursday while Patrick Marleau added two assists, both regular factors to success against the Kings.
The Kings were stayin' alive on Thursday and now they'll hope for a case of Saturday Night Fever as they try to cheat death once again and send this series back to Staples Center for Game 6.
Can they do it again? We'll see.
Enjoy the game!