Los Angeles • They’ve got the chance to lift the Stanley Cup at Staples Center again when they host the New York Rangers in Game 5 of the finals on Friday night, giving the ultimate celebration to their long-suffering fans for the second time in three years.
Yet the Kings’ memories of that night in June 2012 weren’t a popular subject Thursday as they prepared for the chance to finish another draining, two-month postseason with one big party.
Stanley Cup finals
Los Angeles Kings vs. New York Rangers
Kings lead series 3-1
Game 1 » Los Angeles 3, New York 2 (OT)
Game 2 » Los Angeles 5, New York 4 (2OT)
Game 3 » Los Angeles 3, New York 0
Game 4 » New York 2, Los Angeles 1
Friday » at Los Angeles,6 p.m., Ch. 5
x-Monday » at New York, 6 p.m., Ch. 5
x-Wednesday » at Los Angeles, 6 p.m., Ch. 5
x — if necessary
"It doesn’t matter where you win the fourth," Jarret Stoll said at the Kings’ training complex. "This time of year, it’s all about the result."
With the weary poise of a team that has already been through three seven-game series this spring, the Kings insisted they’re not bothered by their inability to finish a sweep in New York. Mike Richards and the Kings calmly flew home, grabbed a few hours of sleep and focused on a good start to Game 5, figuring it will lead to the big finish.
"It’s not going to be easy, but confidence is there," Richards said. "If we play well, we think that we can have success. You don’t make it to this point of the season without having confidence in your team."
Stoll is tired of the Kings’ weak starts, however. The Rangers have taken 2-0 leads in three of the series’ four games, forcing Los Angeles to play catch-up hockey — something the Kings do extraordinarily well, but would prefer to skip Friday.
"We know we can do more, especially at the start of games," Stoll said. "That’s going to be our focus going into Game 5."
Henrik Lundqvist gave the Rangers hope with his 40-save performance in Game 4.
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