First line staying together for now
As noted yesterday, Dustin Penner’s status remains a day-to-day topic — Penner is expected to attempt to practice again today — but regardless of whether Penner is able to play this weekend, it seems that the Kings will stay with a first line of center Anze Kopitar and wingers Simon Gagne and Justin Williams. Terry Murray had that line together briefly in the preseason, then went back to it at the start of the season when it was determined that Penner could not play. So far, so good, as Kopitar has three of the Kings’ five goals through two games and seems to be working well off Gagne and Williams. Here’s what Murray said about the probability of keeping that unit intact, at least in the near future.
MURRAY: “The Kopitar line has played pretty well, and I think they can be so much better. That will be some of the stuff we talk about, and work on, as we go through the next few days of practice. I like what I’ve seen, Kopi obviously getting off to a nice start. Gagne, I didn’t plan on that [him playing with Kopitar] when we started the training camp. The move came with a couple of games left in the exhibition season. There seemed to be some nice chemistry. They were getting each other the puck through the middle of the ice, with a lot of speed on the attack, and that really got my attention. So I do plan on leaving Gagne with Kopitar right now. They seem to have something real special going on. On the other side, with Willy, he’s a guy who can score. I’m going to keep letting it play out.’’