EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — With two days off in an all-California series, the Los Angeles Kings seized the opportunity to fly home for two days of practice before Game 4.
After their performance in Game 3, it is clear the defending Stanley Cup champions still need plenty of work.
The Kings went through a short workout at their training complex Sunday after sleeping in their own beds following a 2-1 overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.
Such easy travel usually isn't possible in the spread-out Western Conference, but Game 4 isn't until Tuesday night at the Shark Tank.
"We were home at pretty much the same time as we would coming from Staples on a regular night," center Anze Kopitar said. "It's a 50-minute flight, so it's pretty quick. I think it's good for us."
Los Angeles' 2-1 loss in Game 3 ended on a power-play goal after two penalty calls that angered and confused the Kings for several reasons. Yet captain Dustin Brown acknowledged the Kings have plenty of concerns beyond the officiating.
Los Angeles leads the series 2-1, but only after getting a 35-save shutout from Jonathan Quick in Game 1 and stealing Game 2 with two late power-play goals.
"We've got to score more than one goal," Brown said. "I mean, Quickie is a great goalie, but at the end of the day, we need to score more than one goal for him. We haven't done that. I think we've only scored one goal three times out of four away games."
Indeed, the Kings have scored six goals in their four road playoff games this spring, half of them in a 3-2 overtime win at St. Louis. The other three road playoff games all have been 2-1 losses — and before that, Los Angeles dropped six straight road games to close the regular season, scoring nine goals in that stretch.
Robyn Regehr was whistled for hooking on a seemingly garden-variety stick play with 41.7 seconds left in regulation in Game 3, and Trevor Lewis followed him into the box with 4.5 seconds left on a goaltender interference call that had the Kings steaming. They claimed Lewis was pushed into Antti Niemi, and questioned why such a dramatic call would be made so late in a game.