After a five-game stretch without a power-play goal, the Kings have now scored at least one power-play goal in five of their last six games. In their last three games, they’re 5-for-13. including Monday’s three-goal effort against San Jose.
The difference? A couple things jump to mind, although they’re not necessarily the answers. One is Oscar Moller, who seems to be bringing some energy and skill to the unit. The big one, for me, is Ryan Smyth, and it’s the same old story. Net presence. Smyth parks in front of the net and is there for deflections and rebounds. Michal Handzus does a credible job of this as well, but Smyth brings it to a higher level. Smyth has scored power-play goals in three consecutive games.
After the game, I asked Terry Murray about Smyth’s impact on the power play since his return less than two weeks ago.
MURRAY: “That’s a group thing. Ryan Smyth deserves a lot of credit. There’s no question. His positioning is in front of the net. He’s got great hand-eye coordination. He ticks a lot of pucks and makes good things happen. Either the puck goes in or there’s a loose puck, and you can get second and third opportunities. But we like to keep that to a group. That’s five guys that are working hard for each other out there. There’s a reaction, to where the puck is on the ice, by everybody. It’s a good five-man unit going.”