Power play ups and downs

How fickle is power-play success? Well, look at the last two Kings-Sharks games. On Jan. 4, the Kings went 3-for-5 on the power play and won 6-2. Just seven days later, the Kings went 0-for-5 on the power play and lost 2-1. Same systems, same players, very different results.

The Sharks enter tonight’s game with the league’s second-best penalty-kill unit and are 19-for-19 on the kill in their last six games. The Kings, though, are one of the few teams to have power-play success against San Jose. Only four times this season have the Sharks allowed more than one power-play goal. Two of those games were against the Kings.

The Kings are without a power-play goal in their last three games, and here’s what Terry Murray said today about facing the Sharks’ strong penalty-kill unit…

MURRAY: “Well, they are the best at home and they’re one of the best in the league. They’re very aggressive. I watched their game last night and their game against Edmonton. Very aggressive. They’re a veteran team that reads any kind of bobbled pucks, and they come right after you. So when you do have some success against them, it’s because of a five-man unit moving the puck.

“The open guy, the man away from the puck, is the guy that dictates the pass. He has to work very hard to get available for the man that’s with the puck, because of the pressure that’s coming to him. That, to me, in the success that we’ve had against them, is a big part of the reason. Attacking out of our own zone with five, setting it up, moving it, everybody moving their feet and being alert, and then the attitude of getting pucks to the net.”

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