Frozen Royalty Audio: Kopitar Line Leads Kings Over Wild, 6-3
LOS ANGELES — Although their penalty-killing continues to leave a lot to be desired, the Los Angeles Kings are riding high on the backs of their top line.
In three games to start the new season, the line of Anze Kopitar, Ryan Smyth and Justin Williams has combined for seven goals and eleven assists for eighteen points, and they were hot once again on Thursday night, leading the Kings to a 6-3 victory over the Minnesota Wild at Staples Center.
The Kings took a 3-0 lead on goals by Smyth, Williams and Kopitar, and all that came before the game was eleven minutes old.
But penalty-killing continued to be a problem, as the Kings allowed two power play goals in the second period and at that point, had allowed six consecutive power play goals, including the four power play goals they allowed on four power play chances against the San Jose Sharks on October 6, a 6-4 victory for the Kings.
The Kings did manage to finally kill off a couple of penalties to break the streak, and then sealed the win with a goal by Teddy Purcell and another goal by Smyth.
NOTES: Kopitar (goal, two assists), Smyth (two goals, assist) and Williams (goal, two assists) combined for nine points in the game and for eighteen points in their first three games (see above); Kopitar has scored three goals and has tallied five assists for eight points in the three games. Last season, it took Kopitar twelve games to record eight points; the Kings have had ten different players scoring their fifteen goals over the three games; the last time the Kings scored six goals in back-to-back games was November 11, 1997 (8-2 vs. Vancouver) and November 13, 1997 (6-3 vs. San Jose); the last time the Kings started a season 2-1-0 was in 2006-07; Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi, a member of the 2008-09 Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins, received his Stanley Cup ring after the game from Penguins minority owner Ron Burkle. Kings President/Business Operations Luc Robitaille was also present.
Read the rest on Gann Matsuda’s Frozen Royalty