May 2, 2012 6:00 pm

Scorers make Kings a threat on PK

It’s almost comical to note that the Kings are plus-1 on the penalty kill in their first seven playoff games, although it’s probably not all that funny to their opponents. The Kings have allowed three power-play goals and have scored four shorthanded goals. That’s not sustainable, over the course of an entire postseason, but taken on its own, it’s an impressive stat. And, in general, there’s no question that the Kings’ penalty-killing unit is a team strength. In terms of shorthanded goals, it’s no secret that a part of the Kings’ success is that some of their top scorers also kill penalties. In Game 2, Anze Kopitar, Jarret Stoll, Mike Richards and Dustin Brown were the Kings’ top penalty-kill-minute leaders. Kopitar, Richards and Brown were also in the team’s top four in points in the regular season. Darryl Sutter was asked about being able to use some of his top scorers in penalty-kill situations…

SUTTER: “It sounds like you have (penalty-kill) specialists, and you always do, but I think a lot of teams would prefer if their top guys could kill penalties. Some guys are disciplined enough to do that, play both ways and be strong enough and have those assets, in your own zone, that they can kill (penalties). If your top offensive guys can do it, it makes a huge difference. Mike Richards is always a guy with a lot of shorthanded goals. Kopi and Brownie have obviously shown that in these playoffs. We use Carter some, and Jarret is a guy with good speed and good offensive instincts. It does impact how (opponents) play on the power play, when you know (penalty killers) are going for it.’’

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