Changing on the fly: LA Kings' line shuffling leads to big benefits in Cup finals opener
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – The Los Angeles Kings reached the Stanley Cup finals with a zealous dedication to a detailed game plan — and a remarkable willingness to throw it out the window when necessary.
The Kings used both facets of their personality in a 3-2 overtime victory over the New York Rangers in the finals opener Wednesday, and they realize it might be necessary again in Game 2 on Saturday.
The Kings won the Western Conference with four distinct line combinations playing together for the vast majority of their first 21 playoff games. After Los Angeles fell behind 2-0 to the Rangers, coach Darryl Sutter briefly shuffled all four centers to spark his team, and it worked.
Jeff Carter says the changes were necessary to get the Kings moving again.