Getty ImagesNEWARK — Rob Scuderi has been here before.
He's journeyed through a regular season in which his team switched coaches and found its stride. He's battled through the playoffs to reach to the Stanley Cup Final. He's had the chance to raise hockey's Holy Grail on his opponents' home ice.
On June 12, 2009, Scuderi won the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. On June 9, 2012, he gets a chance to repeat the feat with the Los Angeles Kings at Prudential Center in Newark for Game 5 of the Cup Final.
"I have great memories. You'd love to do it again. I'm not sure what the percentage is for guys that have won the Stanley Cup; the guys that have won two or more, the percentage goes down," he said.
"You'd like to share some new memories with another group."
The Kings have a 3-1 series lead heading into Game 5 on Saturday night, following their 3-1 loss at home to New Jersey. It was only the third time the Kings have been defeated in the entirety of the postseason tournament. All of the losses have been at home. On the road, they're a perfect 10-0.
With a victory in Game 5, the Kings claim the Stanley Cup and the all-time record for road wins in a playoff year — breaking the mark currently they share with the 1995 and 2000 New Jersey Devils, as well as Darryl Sutter's Calgary Flames in 2004.
Impressive feat … but not a factor for the Kings' motivation or preparation, apparently.
"The only time I think about it is when you bring it up," said coach Sutter to the media on Saturday afternoon. "Players want to play. It doesn't matter where they play."
Captain Dustin Brown said it's also been discussed more around hockey than in their dressing room.
"As a team, we don't think about it. Try to approach every game the same way," he said. "We've been successful on the road, but that has a lot to do with how we play the game."
"I can't speak for everybody, but I know that I wouldn't care. If we're fortunate enough to win, I can care less where it is," he said.
"We just don't think of it that way. We've just been playing our game. It's just that we won the games on the road. I thought a couple of the home games that we actually lost, I thought we played pretty well. It just so happened we played really well on the road."
So what's the formula for success for the Kings on Game 5?
Center Anze Kopitar put the emphasis on a fast start, unhappy with the way the Kings had gotten out of the blocks in some games of the series.
Brown said they can't allow the Devils to control the tempo as they did in Game 4.
"The main thing from an offensive standpoint is possession time. I don't know if we had enough of it in Game 4. It became a rush game," he said. "We have to get in, wear on their defensemen. We have big, strong, fast forwards. They have some 'D' that are big but they also have some 'D' that are undersized.
"After a letdown, it's important for everyone to prepare."
The Kings sound prepared, ready to correct the mistakes that kept the Devils in this series. They're back on the road, where they've had enormous success and a loose demeanor — like when Sutter lamented, on a gameday, the fact that Game 5 conflicted with Farmer's Day back in Alberta.
"It's a big picnic. With coolers," said Sutter. "I hope you know what that means."
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