The Kings’ penalty kill, a clear strength of the team for the bulk of this season, has taken a bit of a dip of late. After an 11-game stretch, from Dec. 19 through Jan. 9, in which the Kings did not allow a power-play goal, they have now allowed six power-play goals in their last five games (13-for-19 on the penalty kill). Some of that might be attributed to personnel. In an attempt to reduce the ice time of some top players, the Kings have been involving more players on the penalty-kill side of things. Last night, Calgary had only 4 minutes, 46 seconds, of power-play time, but the Kings used 13 different skaters on the penalty kill. Matt Greene and Willie Mitchell continue to get major penalty-kill time, but the rest is very spread out. Asked about the penalty kill of late, Darryl Sutter pointed out a clear need for improvement: “Two-hundred-foot clears,” Sutter said, meaning that even when the Kings get the puck out of the offensive zone, they’re often not getting it to the far end of the ice and giving themselves a chance to regroup (and kill precious time).
SUTTER: “Let the goalie break the other team out, 200 feet from our goalie. … Prior to that (Iginla goal), we did have a chance to clear. If you look at it, a perfect (shift) is 20 to 30 seconds, and we’ve been getting caught a little longer, basically because we haven’t cleared pucks all the way down. A lot of times we clear, but not enough for a change.”