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Kings discovering that the road to a repeat is tougher than expected

The Kings lost only one game on the road in the playoffs last season on the way to winning the Stanley Cup. They have already lost three times on the road this postseason. Kyle Clifford could rejoin lineup.

May 21, 2013|By Lisa Dillman
  • Kings' Trevor Lewis (22) gets a penalty for goalie interference on San Jose Sharks' Antti Niemi (31) during the third period in Game 3.
Kings' Trevor Lewis (22) gets a penalty for goalie interference on… (Thearon W. Henderson / Getty…)

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Flawless at home and flawed on the road?

Not quite. But the Kings already have lost three times on the road during the playoffs, whereas they dropped only one road game through four rounds on their way to the Stanley Cup last year.

"We can't rest and be comfortable with just being a great home team," Kings winger Justin Williams said on Monday. "We need to be killers on the road."

Game 4 is at San Jose on Tuesday night. The Kings, leading the series two games to one, practiced at El Segundo on Monday before flying back to the Bay Area. It appears as though left wing Kyle Clifford, out because of an upper-body injury since late in the first round, could rejoin the lineup. He skated on a line with Colin Fraser and Brad Richardson.

"Cliffy's obviously a physical presence," Fraser said. "First and foremost, he's an energy guy. He's got lots of life and he's a guy that plays hard every shift. So we're happy to have him back. He'll give us an emotional lift on the physical side and on the energy side of things."

That's a relatively minor move. What the Kings need is more production from their top line of captain Dustin Brown, center Anze Kopitar and Williams. They have combined for one goal — by Brown on the power play — in the first three games against the Sharks.

"It's going to take our best players — myself at the top of the list — to get more offense," said Williams, who had two goals and three points in the first round. "It's plain and simple: Your guys who produce during the year need to produce just as much, if not more, during the playoffs.

"Whether that be creating momentum or creating goal-scoring opportunities or actually putting the puck in the net, which we need to do a lot more. We need to be better at it."

Williams addressed their power-play issues.

"You might not get a lot of opportunities, but when you do you need to create something … getting the goalie a little uncomfortable," he said. "Something needs to go your way when you have a two-minute man advantage.

"We need to do a lot more to create penalties. I don't think we've had enough. I don't think we've gone to the net enough, and gotten calls [going] our way."

lisa.dillman@latimes.com

twitter.com/reallisa

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