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October 11, 2011 3:45 pm

Kopitar, Williams a pair to build around

For all the line-combinations changes that the Kings — and other teams, for that matter — undergo, the Kings have found one thing that certainly seems to work. When healthy, the pair of center Anze Kopitar and right winger Justin Williams has been a successful one. The players get along well off the ice and play off each other well on the ice, although their partnership has been derailed a few times over the last couple years because of injuries. Williams, recovered from offseason shoulder surgery, is off to a strong start, with two assists in his first two games, and Williams talked about the chemistry that has developed over the last couple years between him and Kopitar.

WILLIAMS: “We’ve come a long way, I think, in terms of communication. Right when I got here, Kopi, he wasn’t a mute but he wouldn’t say very much on the ice. Now he’s talking. He’s making small talk out there. He’s comfortable and confident out there. That’s what I like to see, especially from your centerman, that he’s talking to you, that he wants the puck all the time and he demands it. I think, as a player and a linemate, when we communicate a lot and just tell each other where we are, and where we want the puck, it takes a lot of the guess work out of the game. He’s just extremely effortless out there, is what it seems. He does things that look easy, that certainly aren’t. He carries the puck through the neutral zone with such ease that you just expect it every time.’’

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