Sports

Kings' take-away from Game 1 playoff loss to San Jose? 'Play better'

SportsLos Angeles KingsJonathan QuickDarryl SutterMike Brown (ice hockey)San Jose SharksAlec Martinez

Vulcanized rubber ricocheting off plexiglass wasn't the only source of echoes at the Kings' practice facility Friday.

After Thursday's 6-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks in Game 1 of the Western Conference quarterfinals, Kings players were repeating the same phrase when asked about the team's approach to Game 2: "Play better."

It's a loaded couple of words considering how many odd-man rushes and turnovers the Kings gave up in what was arguably their worst playoff-game effort since a 6-3 loss to the Sharks in 2011. Still, the players are confident their Game 1 performance is not indicative of how the series will play out.

"We didn't do a very good job of weathering the storm," Kings defenseman Alec Martinez said. "We'll learn from it, and that's why there's seven games. … It was a result of us not having detail to our game, just general sloppiness."

Kings Coach Darryl Sutter backed Martinez's assessment, saying mistakes coupled with a bit of bad luck were the main culprit behind the loss. He disagreed with the notion San Jose's speed and aggressiveness in the neutral zone caused insurmountable issues for the Kings.

"It's not like there is a big difference in speed," Sutter said. "It wasn't our night. They scored a bad goal early, we made a bad line change and two of our veterans turned pucks over in the neutral zone on the same play, and it's three-nothing."

Winning Sunday's Game 2 in San Jose would go a long way in redeeming the Kings' performance in the opener. Home teams have won six of the first seven Stanley Cup playoff games this year. In addition, the Kings will have to beat the Sharks at least once on the road if they want to advance — something they were unable to do in last year's seven-game series victory over San Jose.

Will Game 2 mark a return to the level of hockey that propelled the Kings to a 100-point season?

"We want to play our best hockey," Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell said. "When we play our best hockey, we feel we can beat anyone."

Quick shrugs off collision

Jonathan Quick didn't seem thrilled about San Jose forward Mike Brown's pushing defenseman Slava Voynov into the Kings' goalie early in Game 1. Quick wrapped his arms around Brown's legs immediately after the two fell to the ice. Brown was assessed a penalty for goaltender interference on the play.

A more reflective Quick said Friday he understood Brown was just doing his job.

"It's where goals are scored," Quick said. "So he was going to the area where goals are scored."

Sutter on power outage

Sutter was glad the brief power outage at SAP Center before the start of Game 1 happened when everyone was still in the locker room, saying he wouldn't have been adequately prepared if he was anywhere else in the building.

"I was in the locker room, that's where everybody was," Sutter said. "It's like I told [General Manager] Dean [Lombardi], it's a good thing he wasn't in an elevator, and I'm glad it wasn't when we were walking, because in San Jose you've got to walk across the ice. So if it would have gotten dark in there, I would have had a problem. I didn't have a candle or a cigar or nothing."

austin.knoblauch@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
SportsLos Angeles KingsJonathan QuickDarryl SutterMike Brown (ice hockey)San Jose SharksAlec Martinez
  • Kings vs. Sharks
    Kings vs. Sharks

    The San Jose Sharks scored five unanswered goals in the first and second periods to key a 6-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in Game 1 of their NHL playoff series on Thursday night.

  • Kings drop playoff opener to Sharks, 6-3
    Kings drop playoff opener to Sharks, 6-3

    San Jose builds a 5-0 lead through two periods, including two late goals in first period, before L.A. makes a third-period comeback that is too little, too late.

Comments
Loading