Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 6/7/12

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 23: Dwight King of the Los Angeles Kings skates against the Phoenix Coyotes at Staples Center on September 23, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. The Coyotes defeated the Kings 3-1. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
The Los Angeles Kings' 15-3 postseason record can't be deceiving, can it? For a team that has won all 10 of its road games and faltered at its chance to become the first team since the 1988 Edmonton Oilers to post a 16-2 playoff record en route to winning the Stanley Cup, the margin between winning and losing isn't as stark as their record indicates. Remember the 2001 Lakers? They went 15-1 through the playoffs, averaging a 14 point cushion per victory. Nine of their 15 wins were by at least 12 points. Even prior to Wednesday's game, the 2012 Kings were not the 2001 Lakers. Other than more comfortable Game 2s in St. Louis and Phoenix, and Game 3 against New Jersey, that razor thin victory line had often been established in the third period or overtime, as Games 1 and 2 of the Stanley Cup Final taught us. "I think it was a see saw battle and a matter of a coin flip," Dustin Penner said after Wednesday's 3-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils. In a bounces-influenced series that has had the capacity to offer so many different scenarios heading out of Game 4, Los Angeles has got to feel upbeat about its three-games-to-one lead, considering how even the play has been throughout the glut of this transcontinental affair. "Not a whole lot different," Peter DeBoer said of Game 4's cadence. "We found a way to get the first goal. We found a way to keep momentum. We didn't play any harder. I mean, I think the chances were relatively even again tonight, like they have been most of the games." The third period had been so kind to the Kings until Wednesday night. Prior to Game 4, L.A. had allowed one third period goal Ryan Carter's deflection off Marek Zidlicky's shot in Game 2 in the last nine games. Third periods had been where the Kings had surged past their opponents during a run which will be put on ice for at least three more days. Dustin Penner pouncing on a Jeff Carter-deflected puck in Game 1 of the Vancouver series allowed for Dustin Brown's and Dwight King's early third period tallies that lifted Los Angeles past Phoenix in Games 1 and 3. This time, it was the Devils who earned their bounces, as Patrick Elias crashed the net to backhand an odd angle rebound past Quick to open the scoring midway through the third before Adam Henrique's artistically corralled pass from David Clarkson was snapped far post past a sliding Quick for the game-winner. "It's one of those games where you just grind, grind, grind, and you've got to get a fortunate bounce here or there or make your own bounces," Penner said. "Tonight, we weren't on the fortunate side of that." It wasn't for the lack of an effort or chances. Los Angeles received several partial breakaways, one of which came on a well-placed saucer feed from Simon Gagne to a wide open Trevor Lewis, who pulled the puck around an extended Martin Brodeur poke check before he deposited the puck inches wide of the near post. Penner shot wide on a partial break, while Kopitar and Williams hit posts in a first period in which a Kings goal would have blown the roof off Staples Center. "We had some good chances to put the puck in the net," Jarret Stoll said. "We've just got to bear down when we get those chances, and make sure we capitalize, and on the other hand, be better in a couple areas our neutral zone, our gaps, stuff like that." It's an unfortunate Game 4 home pattern for Kings fans, who will gather around TV sets and at watch parties to cheer on their team to win a series on the road for the third time. At least this time, they'll likely have purged that stick-gripping tension from their system, ready to emerge victorious from another team's barn, as they have done perfectly this spring. "I think to an extent there was maybe a few butterflies," said Penner, who won a Stanley Cup with Anaheim five years ago Wednesday. "I think it's human nature in a situation where the guys that haven't been there before. But now we know." They also know that Game 5 will once again hang in the balance of one team being more opportunistic than the other, and that those bounces will have to be earned through 60 minutes of relentless work that have come to define their road efforts.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Twitter, Facebook report engagement decline during Super Bowl

Steve Spurrier becomes special assistant to South Carolina AD

Brent Musberger wants you to bet on Joe Lunardi’s bracketology

Unranked Duke uses big first half to beat No.13 Louisville

MLB reportedly close to rule preventing collisions at second base

USOC says athletes concern about Zika shouldn't attend Games

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Von Miller shares support for embattled Johnny Manziel

The Panthers had to use a silent snap count at the Super Bowl

Report: Lakers would fire Byron Scott to hire Luke Walton

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Seahawks’ Frank Clark rips Cam Newton ‘that boy a b—‘

Report: Tom Thibodeau has 'always wanted' Knicks job

Daniel Bryan says goodbye to WWE during teary retirement speech

Paul George delivers great line about driving by Kobe Bryant

WATCH: Oklahoma beats Texas on Buddy Hield's 3-pointer

Andre Drummond hits 70-foot buzzer beater to end 3rd quarter

Duke's Allen appears to intentionally trip Louisville's Spaulding

Candidates for New York Knicks head coaching job

Attorney alleges Johnny Manziel ruptured ex-girlfriend's eardrum

Jeanie Buss may clean house in Lakers’ front office

Lisa Ann wants to reward Emmanuel Sanders for Super Bowl win

WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan to announce retirement

Nine best and worst players from 2015 NFL playoffs

Rodman wants Phil Jackson to know he’s ready to coach Knicks

Wade Phillips trolls Cam Newton with dabbing tweet

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker