Some of the Kings congratulate each other after defeating New Jersey in… (Bruce Bennett / Getty Images )
Five years ago, Dustin Penner didn't have to deal with questions about not closing out an opponent in an elimination game after the first couple of attempts.
Penner was with the Ducks in 2007, and Anaheim beat Ottawa in five games, winning the Stanley Cup on home ice on the first crack. Over and done.
The Kings have had two shots at it and lost tight games on both occasions to the New Jersey Devils. They lead the best-of-seven series, three games to two. Game 6 is tonight at Staples Center, and, if necessary, Game 7 would be in Newark, N.J., on Wednesday.
Penner was asked if the cushion of a Game 7 was in the back of his mind.
"That's way, way back there," he said after Monday's morning skate.
A lot of the questions in the morning were about what the Kings had learned from Game 4. Some of them admitted to being nervous and distracted about a possible looming celebration.
“We're a little more relaxed in here, and I hope that turns into more focus and more preparation in getting yourself ready to go," said captain Dustin Brown, who has one assist in the Final. "We need a good start.
"There's a lot excitement in the situation being what it is. But for me personally, I'm much more calm today, not thinking about as many things. And I would say that's probably the same for most guys."
Kings Center Jarret Stoll played in a Game 7 for the Stanley Cup in 2006, when he was with Edmonton. The Carolina Hurricanes, playing at home, beat the Oilers, 3-1.
Stoll talked about the mindset going into an elimination game.
"It changes a little bit," he said. "There are certain thoughts, what you think about, what you don't think about. You've just got to come to the rink and worry about playing the game, not worry about anything else outside of the dressing room, outside of the rink."
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