Something strange has been happening to the Kings of late. They’re actually playing well in the first period, for the most part. The Edmonton game was an all-around clunker, but against Calgary and Vancouver, on the recently completed road trip, the Kings game out with solid starts and took the lead. Statistically, the first period has been by far the Kings’ worst period this season, and it remains to be seen how they will come out tonight, in the first game home after a three-game road trip, but Mike Richards said that improving the starts has been a point of emphasis for the Kings.
RICHARDS: “I think that’s the biggest thing, the focus that we put into it. I think it helps, with the three (games) in four (nights), to have the ice time spread out. I’m not sure the exact ice time that everyone played in the last two games, but I don’t think it was anything over 20 minutes, for the most part, for the forwards. So it keeps you fresh, especially in the third period and overtime. Our start was huge (against Vancouver). It gave us confidence.’’