The Kings held an optional morning skate Wednesday at Staples Center, where they will face the New York Rangers on Wednesday evening in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. The NBC telecast will start at 5 p.m., and puck drop is scheduled for 5:22.
The Rangers decided not to skate Wednesday morning and instead were due to make Coach Alain Vigneault and select players available to the media at 2:30 p.m.
Dustin Brown was among the players who participated in the Kings’ morning skate, and he said afterward he was glad to stay in something close to a routine and have a short turnaround after the team’s Western Conference championship-clinching victory at Chicago on Sunday. The short break, he said, could help the Kings sustain whatever momentum they gained from that Game 7 overtime victory.
“I like the rhythm, personally. I think it’s a personal preference from player to player,” he said. “I think what’s important is the emotional series against Chicago, when you win the way we won and how the seven games went, it’s important to use that in a roundabout way.
“That emotional series, you can gain some energy from it. It’s about applying it to the next round, and that’s the challenge we’ve got to come out [and face] in Game 1.”
Brown also was asked how he thinks goaltender Jonathan Quick will respond to playing against Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist. The pre-series consensus has been that goaltending is an area in which the Rangers might have an advantage, based on Lundqvist’s better numbers in the playoffs. Lundqvist has compiled a 2.03 goals-against average and .928 save percentage, while Quick — the 2012 playoff MVP — is at 2.86 and .906.
Quick’s numbers during the Kings’ 2012 Cup run were stellar: he had a 1.41 goals-against average and .946 save percentage.
“Quickie’s a competitor,” Brown said. “A lot has been said about his play. I think us players view his play a lot differently than most because we see him on a day-in, day-out basis and the saves he has made that allow us to be playing this time of year.
“Just knowing Quickie, knowing there is a world-class goalie on the other side will motivate him to be very sharp and very good …. His save percentage or his numbers might not be as good as in 2012 but he’s still making those game-breaker saves for us that allow us to either come back or hold the lead or advance.”