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At the Rink blog

Williams promoted back to Kings' first line

Tuesday, 12.06.2011 / 3:34 PM

By Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent / At the Rink blog

ANAHEIM -- Los Angeles Kings coach Terry Murray put his top line back together for tonight's game against the Anaheim Ducks, reuniting Simon Gagne and Anze Kopitar with Justin Williams, who had been demoted to the third line.

Murray also put Dustin Brown back at left wing.

"He's so effective coming off that left side on the attack," Murray said of Brown. "I just want to take advantage of it right now."

Penner feels good:
Kings forward Dustin Penner returned to the lineup last Saturday and scored his first goal of the season after he missed nine games with a hand injury.

Penner, whose season has been interrupted by injuries, said this is the best he's felt all season.

"It's a combination of the extra work I put in, and also I'm injury free," Penner said.

Penner's goal came on a tip in front of the net, which is exactly the type of net presence that coach Terry Murray has preached.

"That's the attitude that we need to re-establish as a team again," Murray said. "We're getting away from that the last several games. Overall, his game was real good. I just want to make sure there's no back off the gas pedal here."

Kings searching for entry point: An inability to generate shots has been an ongoing point of emphasis for the Kings, who remain among the worst-scoring teams in the NHL.

"I personally think it starts with our neutral-zone play, coming up the ice together," captain Dustin Brown said. "Sometimes we get too spread out. Whether it's a quick counter or a long counter, we've got to be able to identify that, as a group of five, and come together.

"You look at our team, we have nine or 10 guys that have scored 20 goals. So guys can score goals. But we can't score goals when we're dumping the puck and not getting it back, and the result of that is our neutral zone. As players, we have a system in place, guys need to identify a quick counter or a long counter. Those are really are two options. Right now we're getting caught in between those … it puts guys where they have to chip it in. There's no speed. There's no pressure on the puck."

For me, it's a great win for our hockey team and for a lot of people back in Columbus, especially our fans in particular … people who have been devoted to this organization, it's big.

— Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards on their win vs. the Penguins in Game 2, the franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup Playoff victory