Stanley Cup Finals 2012: Los Angeles Kings Can Be Confident Entering Game 5

The Los Angeles Kings missed an opportunity to sweep a 2012 Stanley Cup playoff series for the third time in four tries Wednesday night, spilling a 3-1 decision to the New Jersey Devils.

All that really means is that they now have an opportunity to polish off an adversary in five games for the third time in three tries. And they have a chance to clinch their first title in franchise history in the midst of claiming a record 11 road wins in a single playoff run.

All things considered, that potentiality ought to be at least a tad less pressure-filled than the objective they failed to meet on Wednesday, namely, clinching the Cup before their home crowd.

And it is certainly worth mentioning that all three of L.A.’s losses this spring have occurred at the Staples Center when they have had a chance to complete a sweep.

But the Vancouver Canucks and Phoenix Coyotes both know just how long it took for the momentum to swing back the other way as the scene shifted back to their respective mansions.

In both of the two Game 5s they have played so far this spring, the Kings have shed first blood but ultimately regrouped to end the series in overtime.

For the Canucks, in particular, the schedule was no help after they salvaged their season in the Western Conference quarterfinals. A rare four-day interlude separated their Game 4 victory in Los Angeles and the resultant Game 5 at Rogers Arena, which the Kings ultimately claimed in overtime.

As it happens, there is a three-day gap between the Devils’ victory on Wednesday and the next faceoff at the Prudential Center on Saturday. In turn, they will likely be forced to manufacture their own momentum rather than bank on any coast-to-coast carry-over.

And even if Wednesday’s decisive third period—which really functioned as a mini-game after two scoreless stanzas—does springboard the Devils, the Kings have th...

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