Kings Lose Despite Kopitar's Assist, Aim to Win Stanley Cup as Road Warriors
Winger David Clarkson picked up a turnover near center ice and went into the Kings' zone. He sent a cross-ice pass to Adam Henrique who flipped a wrist shot past the goalie's stick side with 5 minutes 31 seconds left in the game. The Kings had allowed just one third-period goal in their previous nine games.
Ilya Kovalchuk sealed the win on an empty-net goal with 19 seconds left.
Anze Kopitar, who had an assist on a Drew Doughty goal that tied the game, also had a shot hit off the post as did winger Justin Williams.
The victory forces a Game 5 back east at the Prudential Center in Newark on Saturday.
"We had our chances and could have easily won tonight's game, but we didn't bear down. We didn't get a couple of bounces in, and you have to create your own bounces," said center Kopitar. "They played with a little more desperation than we did and we have to correct that in Game 5".
But for a franchise that has waited 45 years to capture the Stanley Cup, Kings players are already focusing on their road game confident the wait will be over in just a few days.
"Everybody is bringing their 'A' game in the Finals," said Kopitar. "And we're going to have to do it again. We feel pretty comfortable on the road so we will try to close it out in New Jersey".
Los Angeles has won all 10 of their road playoff games this spring and 12 straight overall - both NHL postseason records. But after never trailing in the Stanley Cup finals, the Kings never led in Game 4.
"I think (wrapping it up) was definitely on our minds, but they found a way to get a late goal," Kings captain Dustin Brown said. "We've just got to hit the reset button. We've been in this situation now four times in the playoffs, and we've always come back with a big rebound game."