Ironically, on their barnstorming run to the Stanley Cup final, the Kings have really encountered only one trouble spot: that pesky matter of actually trying to close out a series.
In all four rounds, the Kings took a 3-0 series lead and put themselves in a wonderful opportunity to close things out at home. Three of those four times, the Kings lost, including Wednesday night, when the New Jersey Devils stayed alive in the series with a 3-1 victory at Staples Center.
The bad news for the Kings is that they have to play another game. The good news is that they have been in this situation two previous times, and both times they won on the road in Game 5.
Winning on the road is never easy for any team, and even though the Kings are 10-0 on the road in this postseason, that statistic won't help them on the ice in Game 5 on Saturday against the Devils.
The Kings have four players who have previously won the Stanley Cup and five other players who had previously been to the final and lost. There shouldn't be any confusion as to how difficult it can be to close out a final series, but defenseman Rob Scuderi allowed that the Kings might have been impacted a bit by the moment, by having the Stanley Cup actually in the building.
"It's part of it, but the Cup is going to be in the building whenever we play, for the rest of this series, so I don't think we can let it get to us," Scuderi said. "Maybe there was a little bit more buzz because we were here at home, but ultimately if we don't finish the job, we don't deserve it."