Stanley Cup Playoffs 2012: Keys for Kings to Clinch Title at Home in Game 6

The Los Angeles Kings need to clinch the Stanley Cup Finals tonight in LA to avoid having to travel to the East Coast for a Game 7 against the New Jersey Devils. 

Yes, there's no doubt that the Kings have proven to be road warriors throughout the playoffs—compiling a record of 10-1 to this point—but they'd be much happier getting the job done at home. Why tempt fate if you don't have to, right?

There are a few things they must do in order to accomplish this goal, though, and none of them are easy.


Score the Game's First Goal

So far in this series, the team that scored the first goal has gone on to win every single game. While there's no guarantee that this trend will hold for a sixth straight game, the Kings need to ensure they keep the home crowd pumped up throughout the contest.

The best way to keep the crowd into the action is by drawing first blood. If the Devils score first, human nature dictates that the crowd will lose a bit of their energy—a terrible thing from the perspective of the Kings.

The Kings need to start the game on a high note to keep the crowd ravenous and hostile towards their opponent.


Stay Focused, Stay Calm

Some of the players have admitted they were a bit distracted before Game 4, as they were up three games to none, according to the Los Angeles Times. Many of them were busy setting up tickets and flights for their friends and family.

Center Anze Kopitar said: 

We were up 3-0 and obviously you want to finish it off. Everybody's excited, everybody's got family and friends flying in, so maybe it was a little bit of a distraction...We addressed it. We have talked about it. Now everything's put aside. We've gone through it, and we’ve got to learn from it.

Indeed. If they don't learn from their mistake, the Kings could become only the second team in NHL his...

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