Kings coach brushes off team’s away struggles

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With a putrid 1-7 record in the playoffs and an 8-12-4 mark in the regular season, the Los Angeles Kings look like an awful road team. At least on paper.

Head coach Darryl Sutter didn’t really see it that way when asked during a press conference after a Monday practice.

“Every game we lost, every time we lost, we lost every game 2‑1 till last night. I don’t think that’s a huge gap in performance or play at all,” Sutter said. “We’ve had trouble scoring, not just playoffs. We’ve had trouble scoring, going back six games in the season, we had trouble scoring. Even though we finished fifth in the conference. We saw it last year in the playoffs, too. It’s not a home/road disparity at all.”

The veteran bench boss thinks that it’s too easy to look at the negative of losses and ignore the tough competition Los Angeles has faced.

“You know what, we’re a good hockey club,” Sutter said. “We’re not surprising anybody. There’s no upsets now. We’re the team that’s trying to surprise the team that finished first overall. If you look at the teams we played so far in the playoffs, home‑ice teams. That’s part of it.”

However you explain it, the Kings need to win at least one game at the United Center to advance to the 2013 Stanley Cup finals.