“The first 10 or 15 minute of [Game 4], we didn’t have the start or the intensity that we needed. It’s about bringing that right from the start.” — Dustin Brown
“We weren’t hard enough [at the start of Game 4], we weren’t heavy enough for the team that we are. We got better as the game went on and things started happening for us, but it was too little, too late for how we wanted to play the game.” — Justin Williams
“I didn’t think we had a great start.” — Anze Kopitar
You’ve sensed the theme — the Los Angeles Kings would like a better start to tonight’s Game 5 versus the New York Rangers than they got Wednesday at Madison Square Garden, where they failed to clinch the Stanley Cup Final.
It wasn’t just Wednesday’s start either. In fact, the Kings have been outscored 5-2 in the four opening periods of this series — not the kind of statistic you’d expect from a team that held a 3-1 series lead. Remember that the Rangers took 2-0 leads in each of the first two games at Staples Center, only for the Kings to battle back and win in overtime. The difference in Game 4 was that New York held on to its 2-0 lead, thanks in large part to the play of goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
The Kings have only opened the scoring once in the series, in Game 3 when they went on to win 3-0. Los Angeles is 9-2 when it scores first in these playoffs.
“We’re a team that plays a lot different I think when we have the lead and we play with confidence,” said Mike Richards. “We don’t sit back. We just keep pushing.”