Shortly after Simon Gagne signed with the Kings, Terry Murray indicated that Gagne and center Mike Richards — former linemates with the Philadelphia Flyers — would be reunited with the Kings. It happened for a while in the preseason, but some shifting, as well as an injury to Dustin Penner, led to Gagne lining up on the first line, alongside Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams, on opening night. Gagne had one assist in the first two games, but also deserves credit for setting the tone early in the Kings’ victory over the Rangers on Friday. It was Gagne who forced a turnover at the blue line, which led to a beautiful pass from Williams to Kopitar and the game’s first goal. As noted earlier, Murray said he intends to keep the line together for a while, and Gagne said he sees some chemistry developing.
GAGNE: “As a line, I think we do a little bit. We’ve only played two real, regular-season games together as a line, and maybe one or two preseason with that, so it was hard to get something going on. There was a lot of line changing in training camp, so I think having those two games under our belt, we like what we see as a line. We talk about it too, and we’re just going to get better. It’s only two games, and the more you play together, the more you’re going to find a way to find each other on the ice a little easier, and understand what Kopi likes to do on the ice, and the same thing with Justin. It can be a really good line for our team, I think. I think it’s clicking real good right now, so let’s hope it’s just going to get better.’’
Gagne also talked about his early impressions of playing alongside Kopitar…
GAGNE: “Playing in the East, you don’t have a chance to play against him too often, so it’s really hard to notice how talented he is. Now, to have a chance to play with him and practice with him every day, he’s really good. He’s got a lot of skills. He’s a big guy. He’s strong. He’s got a really good shot and you understand why he’s always in the top 10 in the National Hockey League every season. I’m really enjoying playing with him right now.’’