Sutter also didn't overburden superstar blueliner Drew Doughty, who played 26:25, pretty much his normal fare. Sutter said after a grueling seven-game series versus San Jose and then two games in three days at Honda Center to open this round, he felt it important to try to play four lines and three defense pairs Monday night, spreading the minutes as much as possible.
By taking a 1-0 lead 34 seconds into the game on Marian Gaborik's breakaway goal and then a 2-1 lead at 12:07of the first period on Alec Martinez's goal, the Kings were able to play with a lead most of the night, which allowed that kind of rotation with his lines.
Now comes two off days before Game 3 at Staples Center on Thursday night. It's a chance to rest for the Kings, winners of six straight.
"We have to manage it properly," said Sutter. "You're going to win, you're going to lose, it could easily be 1-1, but you're going to handle the two days [off] the same. We're going to do everything we can to get as much energy we can for Game 3. Some guys are banged up. An extra day is good."
Doughty, for one, can surely use the rest. He got slashed behind the knee by Francois Beauchemin and then taken down by a leg trip by Matt Beleskey, both in the second period. He limped off the ice on the first one but returned after a short trip to the dressing room.
"It was in the back of the knee and there's no padding there, so just hit a nerve and the leg went numb," Doughty said. "That's it. It's fine."
As for the Beleskey hit: "I kind of tried to dodge the hit at the same time. I don't really know if he's actually trying to make a big, cheap shot at me or not. He's obviously trying to run me, there's no doubt about that, but I think Beleskey is a pretty fair player and I don't know he's trying to hurt me or anything."
Said Sutter when asked if he had an issue with the Beleskey hit on Doughty: "No, it's the playoffs."
The hate is building though between these two clubs. Buckle up for Thursday night at Staples Center.
Of course, for the Kings, they already feel like they've played two home games.
"As much as it it's on the road, our fans were great," said Doughty. "You can hear them just as loud as their fans. Our fans did a great job of making it feel like home just as much as they could."
How does it feel to be jumping on the team bus Monday night with a pair of wins from the Honda Center?
"We could only dream of this, really," said Doughty. "We knew it was going to tough to do. They might say we don't deserve it or whatnot, but it doesn't matter. We're up 2-0 going back to Staples, and it's exactly what we planned."