Lost, and understandably so, in all the talk about the Kings’ scoring woes is the fact that the power play has actually been quite effective over the past month. Starting with the Jan. 9 game against Washington, the Kings are 10-for-35 on the power play in their last 11 games, an outstanding percentage. They’re also 4-for-11 in their last four games. Of course, that underscores the 5-on-5 difficulties. In their last 11 games, the Kings have 10 power-play goals but only 16 even-strength goals. That’s a huge problem, but at least it’s mitigated a bit by the power-play improvement. Darryl Sutter was asked for his opinion on the improved success rate.
SUTTER: “The defense is attacking better. If you look at the best power plays in the league, everybody looks at the end result and stops and shows the five guys and the plays they make, but our defense are a lot better at attacking with the puck and making lateral plays, instead of long plays and slowing it down. If half of your power-play time is having to retrieve the puck, you’re probably not going to score. … Once we have possession and we’re in the zone, hey, that’s a pretty good group to have out there. They’re going to get chances, with Kopitar, Brown, Williams, Johnson, Doughty, and you can put Mike Richards in where you want. So if you’ve got full control in their zone, entering their zone, we talk about puck protection but it’s (about) doing that, it’s about getting to that point. They’ve been really good on the power play, since that second game that I came here, they’ve been really good. It has given us a chance to win every game.’’