After being masked, in previous games and series, by an effective penalty kill, the Kings’ lack of success on the power play was brought to the forefront after Game 4, after the Kings went 0-for-6 on the power play and had more than nine minutes of power-play time. Lack of power-play success is certainly nothing new for the Kings this season — it, as part of a general lack of scoring, was a theme for much of the regular season — but the power-play shutout was amplified yesterday because the Kings allowed a first-period power-play goal. It was pointed out to Darryl Sutter today that the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup last season without a strong power play. Is it possible, Sutter was asked, that power-play success is overrated in the playoffs?
Question: How so?
SUTTER: “The Bruins won the Stanley Cup.’’
Witty banter aside, Sutter knows the Kings can be much better on the power play. It’s not really a matter of structure. The Kings, for the most part, have been getting set up. They’ve just been slow to react, indecisive at times and ineffective at times in terms of passing and screens and deflections. Dustin Brown and Drew Doughty talked today about needing more from the power play…
DOUGHTY: “We need it. We know that a lot of times in playoffs, special teams is key. The penalty kill has been great the entire playoffs, but our power play definitely needs to pick it up. If we had got just one on the power play last night, that changes the whole momentum of the game. We’ve definitely got to make sure that we’re capitalizing on those opportunities.’’
BROWN: “Our power play has struggled, but it found us a big goal in Game 2, a couple goals in Game 2, that were huge for us. We’ve got to find a way to get a goal. I mean, we’re getting a lot of opportunities on the power play. It’s up to the players out there to figure it out. … Me being a net-front guy, I think we need to shoot more. Just get it to the top, and we need more guys at the net. I think we’re kind of perimeter right now. We just need to throw the puck at the net and have a collapsing attitude, toward the net and around the net.’’
Sutter pointed toward blocked shots as a reason why the Coyotes thrived on the penalty kill.
SUTTER: “I said it last night after the game. Lots of time up top to shoot the puck, and not shooting it when you have the opportunity. … When you block shots, that means you have time to block a shot, right? We scored goals 5-on-3 when they didn’t block shots. We should be able to do that again, 5-on-4.’’
DOUGHTY: “They were doing a good job at that. We need to make sure that we’re getting pucks off our sticks quicker, and make that pass and get that shot there quicker. If you take your time, it gives them more room to close the lane down and get in the shot lane. We need to maybe take more one-timers and find a way to get past them and to the net.’’