Ducks-Kings battle gets simplified
May, 12, 2014
By Pierre LeBrun | ESPNLosAngeles.com
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Battle of SoCal is down a simple scenario.
"It's a best-of-three now," Kings captain Dustin Brown said Monday morning ahead of Game 5. "It's a long way to win that first one. I can't really disagree with that."
The Kings have lost two straight after opening with a pair of wins at Honda Center. They were shut out by rookie John Gibson on Saturday night and know they'll face him again in Game 5.
"I think it is just finishing chances we had," Brown said. "We had a lot of really good chances but didn't put them in the net. Gibson played well, but at the same time we need to bear down when we get those Grade-A scoring chances."
The Ducks are expected to get center Mathieu Perreault back for Game 5 after he missed one game. But Matt Beleskey remains out. Devante Smith-Pelly replaced Beleskey on the top line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry in Game 4 and opened the scoring. He looked good on that top unit.
"I thought I did pretty well, not bad," Smith-Pelly said. "Playing with those guys, I just have to do my thing and let them play their game. If I try and play like them, I probably won’t do too well. As long as I’m able to play my game, I’ll be able to help."
Ducks forward lines from the morning skate:
Devante Smith-Pelly-Ryan Getzlaf-Corey Perry
Andrew Cogliano-Saku Koivu-Jakob Silfverberg
Daniel Winnik-Nick Bonino-Kyle Palmieri
Patrick Maroon-Mathieu Perreault-Teemu Selanne
The Kings did not show lines. Here’s how they lined up for Game 4, when head coach Darryl Sutter scrambled his lines:
Marian Gaborik-Anze Kopitar-Justin Williams
Tanner Pearson-Mike Richards-Jeff Carter
Dwight King-Jarret Stoll-Dustin Brown
Kyle Clifford-Trevor Lewis-Tyler Toffoli
But things might very well change for Game 5 Monday night.