Los Angeles Kings’ Three Games in New York Show They’re the NHL’s Best Team

NEW YORK — Four days in New York in the spring can be a delightful time. Shopping, sightseeing, a night in the theater district to take in a Broadway show. According to Yelp, there are a few decent restaurants in the area as well.

The Los Angeles Kings, however, used four days here to show why they will be the team to beat in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

If they get in the playoffs.

That's still a potential problem, but not if they play their final eight games the way they played their previous three.

"We’re playing good hockey as a five-man unit, and we play solid defensively and good offensively," defenseman Andrej Sekera told reporters. Sekera scored his first goal as a King during this New York-area sweep. "We just try to keep pushing it."

The Kings looked every bit like the team that won its second Stanley Cup in three seasons last year during convincing wins against the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers before using a late goal Thursday to beat the New York Islanders.

The defense was suffocating. The forecheck and cycle were machine-like. The goaltending was stellar. And the Kings' best player, Anze Kopitar, was a force of nature with two goals and four assists in three games.

Yeah, throttling a Devils team that uses Jordin Tootoo on its power play doesn't scream "team to be reckoned with," but the Kings laid a beating on the NHL's top team, the Rangers, one night later before controlling the game on Long Island against the well-rested Islanders.

"Everybody knows the importance of these games," Marian Gaborik said after a 3-1 win against the Devils. "We’ve been in this situation before, so everybody gets up for these games. It’s an important road trip. We need to get some points."

This is what the Kings do: coast for about 55 or 60 games, then step on the gas and drive toward a championship. If these three games a...

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