Previewing the Los Angeles Kings' 2013-14 West Semi-Final:
Game 4 vs. Anaheim
May 10, 2014
6:30pm PST (9:30pm EST)
After seeing their six-game winning streak snapped on Thursday, the Los Angeles Kings will hope for a better performance on Saturday as they once again host an Anaheim Ducks team who seemed to have regained their confidence in Game 3.
On Thursday, the Kings got off to a slow start, generated many shots but few scoring chances and their first two goals against came on the power play. If they hope to take a 3-1 series lead, the silver-and-black will need to improve in said areas.
As great as they were in Anaheim to open the series, the Kings weren't so much when they returned home. Of course, to Anaheim's credit, they seem to play better against the Kings at Staples Center (or at Dodger Stadium) than they do in their own building. After all, what kind of rivalry would this be if it was completely one-sided?
Despite being 43, Teemu Selanne has played very well against Los Angeles thus far in this series. The future Hall-of-Famer has two goals, including one on Thursday evening en route to his team's win. Nick Bonino, Matt Beleskey and Patrick Maroon have all had recent success against the Kings - and it showed in Game 3.
As for who the Kings will deal with in the opposing net, it remains unclear. After losing the first two games of the series, Jonas Hiller took a seat in Game 3 in favour of Frederik Andersen. While Andersen wasn't tested much, he did prove reliable before leaving the game with an apparent lower-body injury. Hiller then came into the game and despite allowing a goal with 31 seconds remaining in the third, had a good outing. Whichever netminder will start for Anaheim in Game 4 may prove to be somewhat important but regardless, the Kings need to come out with the same drive and determination either way.
On the plus side for the Kings, the duo of Marian Gaborik and Anze Kopitar continue to impress. With their assists in Game 3, each has extended their respective point streaks - Gaborik with four and Kopitar with 10.
It is believed that Los Angeles will remain without the services of defensemen Robyn Regehr and Willie Mitchell for Game 4. With that said, they have received great support from Matt Greene and Nick Schultz in their absences.
The Kings look to regroup on Saturday and take a 3-1 series lead while the Ducks simply look to turn this series into a best-of-three before heading back to the Pond.
It should be good.
Enjoy the game!