The Kings have split two games with the Coyotes so far, the 6-3 season-opening clunker at Staples Center and a strong 5-3 win in Arizona nine days ago. The common thread in those games was the Kings’ special-teams success. In the first game, the Kings were 3 for 4 on the power play and 2 for 3 on the penalty kill. In the second game, the Kings were 3 for 7 on the power play and 3 for 4 on the penalty kill. Combined, that’s a plus-4 for the Kings on special teams.
Here’s what Phoenix coach Dave Tippett and Kings coach Terry Murray said today about the special-teams matchup…
TIPPETT: “We looked at that this morning, and I think the stats are over-inflated, but you still have to recognize that their power play, with Kopitar and Smyth on it, they’re a very dangerous power play.”
MURRAY: “They’re such an aggressive penalty-kill group, that you really have to be alert in moving your feet. I felt, the last couple games, and Jamie (Kompon) addressed it here this morning, we’re getting the puck — as an example, the goal-line player — and standing still, not moving our feet, not looking to have the momentum to carry the puck and take the puck to the net, or making them react to you moving your feet and finding the top again. We’re standing still and trying to make plays.
“But against this team, they are so aggressive. They come after you hard, so you have to be alert and you have to keep your feet moving, and move the puck quickly or nothing will happen. I think the power-play groups have been aware of that, through pre-scouts, and have been very focused on getting that part of it down.”