The Kings broke out of their scoring drought with four goals Saturday, in large part because of contributions from the blue line. Of the four goals and six assists the Kings totaled, four of the 10 points went to defensemen, including goals by Drew Doughty and Alec Martinez. That was highest total for defense scoring in seven games, since the Kings got five points from their defensemen in a Jan. 8 game against Columbus. That also doesn’t take into account the Kings’ first goal, a play that was started when Matt Greene picked off a pass in the neutral zone and helped start a 2-on-0 break. Before Saturday’s game, the Kings had only one point from a defenseman in their previous three games, and today, Terry Murray talked about the importance of getting production from the blue line.
MURRAY: “That’s really where you have to come to, today, with the way the teams play on the structure, in their home-plate attitude. You’ve got five (players) down tight. There’s not a lot of room to make plays. Unless something good is happening off the rush, or you get second options off of rebounds, now you recover pucks, you get your feet moving, you open something up, and that’s where those low plays develop. But the original puck-possession plays, most times, need to go low-to-high, get it to the net. Maybe great players can make something happen from low, but it’s a hard thing today.”
In discussing Doughty and Jack Johnson, and their ability to impact the Kings’ offense on the back end, Murray also brought up San Jose defenseman Dan Boyle.
MURRAY: “I had him for a while in Florida. He’s excellent at finding that open ice away from the puck, as a defenseman. I use that word — rover — often when talking about San Jose and his game. So to me, that defenseman, who has the mobility, the hockey awareness, the ability to get in and out, and not hang out in there but get in and out and find the seems, you can be a rover kind of a player and be very, very effective at it.”