Kings Coach Terry Murray will change his lines but not his goaltender for Sunday's win-or-vacation playoff game against Vancouver at Staples Center, calling Jonathan Quick "our guy" despite two shaky performances in teamwide breakdowns the Canucks have exploited to take a 3-2 series lead.
Quick, overworked during the season and off his game since the Olympics, gave up five goals on 26 shots in two stints during the Kings' 7-2 loss Friday at Vancouver. The blame wasn't his alone, but he didn't make any momentum-changing stops then or in Game 4, when the Kings squandered three one-goal leads in a 6-4 loss.
Murray said Saturday no consideration was given to recalling minor leaguer Jonathan Bernier, who excelled in winning three NHL starts this season. The Kings' team goals-against average of 3.99 is a playoff-worst; Quick's goals-against average is 3.58 and Erik Ersberg's is 9.23 after he yielded two goals on four shots in 13 minutes Friday.
Murray said Quick "is the guy that has done a great job for us all year long. He's rebounded from tough starts, difficult losses over the course of the year.He's got great mental toughness. He's able to block that stuff out and come back and play a real solid game the next day."
He also said Quick "is going to be strong and play a good game for us."
If the Kings win Sunday, the series will be decided Tuesday at Vancouver.
"We're excited. We have a good opportunity to do something great here," Quick said after the team practiced in El Segundo.
"We've got to win two games in a row to keep our season alive, but it's just one game at a time, one period at a time. And we know we can do this. We've done it before in the last week. So it's nothing something that we think is unachievable. We definitely know that we can do it."
To have a chance they must stop the line of Daniel and Henrik Sedin and Mikael Samuelsson, which produced five goals and 13 points the past two games.
"We have to play them hard," center Michal Handzus said. "I feel sometimes we give them too much room for their game, which is playing in the zone and cycling the puck, so we've got to really close them hard and take away those lanes."
The Kings also must generate some offense at even strength. Ten of their 16 goals have been produced during power plays, but Vancouver has outscored them, 15-5, during five-on-five situations.
"Our shot mentality, our net presence, our cycle, puck-possession play is not where it needs to be," Murray said. "There have been shifts and stretches of periods where it's been very good but not on a consistent basis. Not quite where we need it to be in order to win this game."
The top line of Ryan Smyth-Anze Kopitar-Wayne Simmonds will remain intact, but the second and third lines will be Fredrik Modin-Handzus-Dustin Brown, and Brad Richardson-Jarret Stoll-Alexander Frolov. Winger Richard Clune, who fell during a fight with Vancouver's Rick Rypien and has a shoulder stinger, won't play. Candidates for the fourth line are Scott Parse, Jeff Halpern, Justin Williams and Raitis Ivanans.