Power play (and other) woes

In the Kings’ first two games after the Olympics, the power play was a strength, as the Kings went 3-for-5 on the man advantage. Last night, it was a clear negative, particularly in the second period. The Kings gave up a shorthanded goal, yes, but they also had six minutes of power play time in which they accomplished little. The Kings totaled four shots on goal on the power play last night. Montreal had four shorthanded shots. Today, I asked Terry Murray whether the power plays were a source of lost momentum, and he discussed it and put it in context with the rest of the game…

MURRAY: “That’s a part of it. You always look at your special teams at the end of the day. They’re so important in the game. They always have been, I suppose, but post-lockout there’s been more opportunities, so you look at it as a critical time. You end up with, sometimes, 10-12 minutes of special-teams time, so it’s important to get some results on a fairly consistent basis. The power play, we had some opportunities. There was some good offensive-zone time. We got some quality chances, we just didn’t get the end result that we needed.

“That was a part of it. Certainly, the Montreal Canadien attitude at the start of the game was that, `We need this game.’ They came out with a lot of desperation and capitalized right away. To me, we were playing hockey, we were ready to play, but it has to be at another level right now. It’s that playoff mode that we need to show every night. I thought we started to show that later in the game. We met on it today, on that same kind of an attitude that it’s important to bring every night. We’re young, and we’re going through it. We’re experiencing it. That’s a good thing. The painful part is that you have to go through it and learn from it. So we’ve got to prepared to come out tomorrow.”

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