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Kings face a battle of nerves heading into Game 4

One win away from a Stanley Cup title, the Kings will try to stay focused as they prepare to play a 'desperate' New Jersey squad.

June 05, 2012|By David Wharton

Dustin Penner has been here before, just one victory away from the Stanley Cup, so he knows what to expect over the next 36 hours.

Some anxious moments. A restless night.

"Your mind starts racing," said the Kings forward who won an NHL title with the Ducks five years ago. "You can feel the energy from the position you're in."

The Kings have a chance to sweep the New Jersey Devils and celebrate their sport's ultimate victory on Wednesday night at Staples Center. Until then, they must try to remain calm and focused, with the help of a few platitudes.

"The fourth one's the hardest," center Colin Fraser said. "They aren't going away."

After Monday night's crushing 4-0 game, the Devils did their best to endorse that notion, Ilya Kovalchuk saying: "We will be a desperate team … we're going to fight through the end."

But the Kings can smell blood with a chance to tie the NHL mark for best record in the playoffs (16-2, set by Edmonton in 1988). And they will have a home crowd on their side.

If Monday night was any indication, it will be an extremely noisy crowd. Maybe the fans, having waited so long for their team to win the Cup, will be letting off some nerves of their own.

"I don't know what 45 years of pent-up energy sounds like," captain Dustin Brown said. "But if we play our game, maybe we'll find out."

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