"I think we'd rather be up 2-0 for sure, but honestly, I don't know what it is," Kings star center Anze Kopitar said. "We put ourselves in a hole again, and then we came back. They scored a quick one after we scored the second one to make it 4-2, so I think that just shows the character again of this team and resiliency, and we never quit and got it done eventually."
But, added Kopitar on his team's mindset, "I think the [Kings locker] room thinks that there's definitely room for improvement."
Give the speedy Rangers some credit: Their pressure resulted in 33 giveaways by the Kings.
"Their forechecks caused some of our guys some problems, for sure," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. "It's the strength of their team."
The strength of the Kings is playing a physical, puck-possession game, its foundation laid on a sound defensive approach. Everything stems from protecting the house.
Right now, that's not at all how it looks. The Kings have been shaky in their own zone, given up the kind of chances they're just not used to giving up. They've shown great character once again early in this Cup finals, but it's not typical Kings hockey.
"Are we playing good or are we not? Right now, we're doing a lot of things that aren't in our game, haven't been in our game for years here," said veteran center Jarret Stoll, who scored his team's opening goal. "We're getting away with it I think right now. Don't get me wrong, we did a lot of good things to come back. Down 2-0, down 4-2. Resiliency to come back and battle and push and pull everybody into it, battle for that tying goal and the winning goal again.
"It's just how we're playing. We've got to be honest with how we're playing. We know we got more."
And by now, no one's betting on the Kings not finding a way.