The Los Angeles Kings will have a second and final chance to win their first Stanley Cup at Staples Center when they face the New Jersey Devils in Game 6 of the final tonight.
The first ended in a 3-1 loss in Game 4 Wednesday. The Kings then lost
Game 5 Saturday in Newark, N.J., 2-1, becoming the first team to win the first
three games of the final, then lose the next two since the 1945 Toronto Maple
"A lot of us before Game 4 were distracted with family members and friends," defenseman Drew Doughty said. "Family always comes first for everyone, but at this point of the year, the team has to come first."
Doughty later described the distractions as "people flying their families in, getting tickets for everyone... I'm sure guys were thinking about what happens if we do win."
"We realize a lot of us didn't play at our potential in Game 4," Doughty said. "We were nervous, worried about other things. All of us in the room were kind of frustrated that we were thinking about things ahead of time.
"(Coach) Darryl (Sutter) made sure that wasn't going to happen this time. We'll be well-prepared for Game 6. Game 6 is all we're thinking about."
When the Kings are in their locker room before tonight's game "we're going to be so well-focused and we're going to be ready to come out there and work our hardest," captain and right wing Dustin Brown said.
"We know we can't let those distractions get to us," Brown said. "All we're thinking about is first 20 minutes now and after that, putting the full 60 minutes together. We're not thinking about any festivities after the game."
Brown expects the team "to be a little more relaxed" tonight.
"Being in front of the home crowd is going to give us an extra boost," Brown said.
The Kings' mood is good, despite their first back-to-back losses in the four rounds of the playoffs, Brown said.
"We're up three to two and we're on home ice," Brown said. "I think most teams would have taken that at the start of the season."
If the Kings lose tonight, Game 7 would be played Wednesday in Newark.
Of the 25 previous times when a team took a 3-0 lead in the final since the best-of-seven format was adopted in 1939, only once has a team failed to win the Stanley Cup -- the 1942 Detroit Red Wings, who lost to Toronto.
The Kings have outscored New Jersey, 10-7, but have been limited to one goal in regulation in all but Game 3, which they won 4-0 last Monday.
The Kings "need to do better at moving the puck" and putting bodies in front of Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur to make it harder for him to see the puck, Doughty said.
"Marty's been the star for his team the last two games, but I think we're doing a lot to allow him to have that success," Doughty said. "We're not crashing the net for rebounds. I think if we start to do that, we'll get a lot more in the net."