Sports

Nothing fancy: Los Angeles Kings keep title defense on track with flash-free fundamentals

  • Los Angeles Kings left wing Dustin Penner (25) congratulates goalie Jonathan Quick (32) after Quick recorded a shutout against the San Jose Sharks in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs, Thursday, May 23, 2013, in Los Angeles.  The Kings won 3-0. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    Los Angeles Kings left wing Dustin Penner (25) congratulates goalie Jonathan Quick (32) after Quick recorded a shutout against the San Jose Sharks in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs, Thursday, May 23, 2013, in Los Angeles. The Kings won 3-0. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)  (The Associated Press)

  • Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick (32) blocks a shot attempt by San Jose Sharks left wing T.J. Galiardi (21) as Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty (8) helps defend in the third period during Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs, Thursday, May 23, 2013, in Los Angeles. The Kings won 3-0. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick (32) blocks a shot attempt by San Jose Sharks left wing T.J. Galiardi (21) as Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty (8) helps defend in the third period during Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs, Thursday, May 23, 2013, in Los Angeles. The Kings won 3-0. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)  (The Associated Press)

  • Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar (11) reacts after scoring against the San Jose Sharks in the second period during Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs, Thursday, May 23, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar (11) reacts after scoring against the San Jose Sharks in the second period during Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs, Thursday, May 23, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)  (The Associated Press)

There's nothing fancy about the way Matt Greene plays hockey, and that's why the veteran defenseman fits perfectly with the Los Angeles Kings.

Greene's return to the Kings' lineup has coincided with a return to form by the defending Stanley Cup champions, who have a chance to close out the San Jose Sharks in Game 6 on Sunday night.

Los Angeles can't match the Sharks' top-end talent or entertainment value, but the champs won the pivotal Game 5 on Thursday night with a fundamentally sound effort led by its sturdy defense.

Greene missed the first nine games of the playoffs after sitting nearly the entire regular season with a back injury. He returned for Game 4, and now the Kings have shut out the Sharks for the last 96 minutes.