When a team finds itself down 3-0 in a series, you’ll usually hear the players talk about their focus on winning just one game. That’s partially because they need to make their task smaller in the face of overwhelming odds, but getting that first victory can also swing the momentum in your favor.
Drew Doughty realizes that because that’s what happened in the Los Angeles Kings’ first round against the San Jose Sharks.
“Once we won that first game of the San Jose series, we kind of had a feeling we were going to come back and win that series,” Doughty said. “And you could see it in their eyes and their team and their captains and leaders that they were worried about us coming back.
“So we don’t want to give these guys any life.”
The Kings have proven that they can bounce back after the Rangers claim an early lead, but it will still be particularly important for the Kings to score the first goal tonight. Anything the Rangers can latch onto as a source of hope could be potentially problematic for the Kings.
Because while the odds are heavily stacked in their favor, they know that last victory isn’t merely a formality.