Defensive pair split

The Kings’ high-profile defensive pairing of Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson didn’t make it through the first period last night. At the start of the second, Terry Murray shifted his defensemen, putting Doughty with Rob Scuderi and Johnson with Sean O’Donnell. Here’s what Murray said today about the shift…

MURRAY: “I wasn’t seeing the right stuff from those two guys. They’re critical and key guys for our hockey club. When they’re on the ice, they have the ability to be able to control the tempo, control shifts. Like the rest of us, we were not up to that kind of a mindset to begin the game. The first shift of the game, we have the puck on our stick, and that’s just a hockey play. It bounced off. It just tapped. But then you have to, then, be in a position to recover. That was the purpose of last year, from my side of it, all that checking and intensity, home-plate attitude.

“Stuff happens in hockey. There’s going to be that reaction that you have to have, to defend, to be tougher for your teammate. That’s what those guys, Dewey and Jack, are good at. They need to be good at it, because they’re playing 28 minutes a night. That’s just part of playing the game in the NHL, and I didn’t see it happening right away, from the beginning. So we made it through the first (period) and I wasn’t happy with what was going on.”

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