Kings must capitalize on Cup opportunity: Greene

Fri Jun 6, 2014 5:21pm EDT
 
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Los Angeles Kings are three wins away from hoisting the Stanley Cup for a second time in three years and veteran defenseman Matt Greene views this as a window of opportunity that simply has to be taken.

American Greene, 31, is one of six 30-somethings on the Kings' active 23-man roster and he fully appreciates that many players in the National Hockey League never even get to compete in the championship series.

"You're not going to be able to do this forever so you have to make sure that you take advantage of when the guys are in their prime and when the guys are playing good hockey," Greene told Reuters ahead of Saturday's Game Two.

"We have confidence in our group. A lot of these guys have been together for a long time. We have a good plan. It's just up to the players to execute it, and all the players have confidence in each other to do that."

"When you add in key pieces like Tanner (Pearson) and Tyler (Toffoli) up front, guys that are really good and smart in terms of being able to adapt to their roles on the team, you succeed."

Pearson, aged 21, and Toffoli, 22, played with Jarret Stoll on the first forward shift in Wednesday's thrilling Game One against the New York Rangers which the Kings won 3-2 in overtime to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Two years ago, the defense-minded Los Angeles delivered a stunning Cinderella story as they beat the Western Conference's top three seeds in the playoffs en route to becoming the first eighth seed to win a Stanley Cup.

  Continued...

 
Jun 4, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; New York Rangers left wing Carl Hagelin (62) battles for the puck against Los Angeles Kings defenseman Matt Greene (2) in the second period during game one of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center. REUTERS/Kirby Lee via USA TODAY Sports