Same wingers, different look
As expected, the Kings will go with new-look lines tonight, with three right wingers on the move. Justin Williams moves up to join Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown, while Trevor Lewis moves up to skate with Ryan Smyth and Jarret Stoll. Wayne Simmonds returns to his partnership with Michal Handzus, and they will skate with Kyle Clifford. The new units had two days of practice, and one morning skate, to get acquainted, and given that the Kings have scored four goals in their last four games, it’s no mystery as to what coach Terry Murray is looking for…
MURRAY: “We’re looking to get offense. That’s always the holy grail that you’re looking for, as a coach, to get the chemistry and have balance in the offensive part of your game. Right now, with Stolly, Smytty and Willie, I thought the chances were still there but the finish was not. Kopi’s line, with whoever I put up there, it just has not connected on a consistent basis. So I’m hoping that something good can happen out of this. I’m just trying to take a good piece from one place and put it there, and hope that there’s good chemistry that can develop and get that offense that we’re looking for.”
This will be Brown’s third game on the left side. He was credited with only one shot on goal Monday against Anaheim but had a team-high five shots on goal against Chicago on Saturday. Murray said he is pleased with the way Brown has played on the left side so far.
MURRAY: “He’s very comfortable playing on his off side. He played with the L.A. Kings in the past, I used him there a little bit. He played in the Olympics last year on left wing, so he’s fine. It’s a great opportunity for him, on his off side, to play that real power-forward, open up and shoot the puck, one-timers. So I’m OK with it. I think he’s played pretty good there. He’s had some good opportunities. With Williams moving to that right side tonight, we’ll give it a look for a couple games and see how that comes together.”