Power-play personnel changes only minor
The Kings went 0-for-4 on the power play Tuesday against Edmonton, but they did generate nine shots on goal. It’s a power-play unit that is now without Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams, but the Kings haven’t made significant personnel changes. In the previous game, Oscar Moller stepped into Williams’ power-play role, and last night Ryan Smyth moved into that five-man group as well, joining Drew Doughty, Jack Johnson and Dustin Penner. The Kings’ other five-man unit actually got the bulk of the time, with Jarret Stoll and Alec Martinez at the points and Michal Handzus, Dustin Brown and Alexei Ponikarovsky up front. Terry Murray said the absence of Kopitar and Williams didn’t lead to much shifting, by design.
MURRAY: “We didn’t change too much on it, quite honestly. The one group, with Handzus and with Martinez on the back end and Stoll on the back end, that’s the same. That’s a group that has been playing very well on the power play, and moving the puck extremely well. Martinez, to me, has got the shot mentality that you want from all of your defensemen. On the other group, you’re just looking to give your players an opportunity. The guy that’s getting the opportunity is Ryan Smyth, who has been on the power play pretty much his whole career. He’s just going to get back in there on a regular basis and do the things he’s been doing. You’re just going through your structure, your system play, moving the puck, letting it do a lot of the work with a shot mentality.”