Stanley Cup Final

Kings were among best playing with the lead

Tuesday, 09.28.2010 / 3:00 AM / 2010-2011 Season Preview

By John Kreiser - Columnist

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Kings were among best playing with the lead
When the Kings got the lead after two periods, they were among the best teams in the League at holding onto it
When the Kings got the lead after two periods, they were among the best teams in the League at holding onto it

Advantage Margin: +3
It's unusual for a team to have more power plays on the road than at home, but the Kings did just that by drawing 156 away from the Staples Center, five more than they got at home.

Special Teams Goal Margin: +2
The Kings' special teams were solid but not spectacular, finishing seventh on the power play and 20th in penalty killing. Both units were markedly better on the road than at home. 

Goals by defensemen: 36
Second-year blueliner Drew Doughty is a rising star, as evidenced by his 16 goals, 59 points, plus-20 rating and spot as a Norris Trophy finalist. Another rising youngster, Jack Johnson, had 8 goals and 36 points -- though he was minus-15.

Overtime Record
Total: 14-1-8
OT: 4-1 SO: 10-8
The Kings' improvement in shootouts (they were 5-8 in 2008-09) was a major factor in their rise in the standings. Anze Kopitar went 8-for-16, including 2 game-deciding goals.

Times Scored First: 46 Record: 34-7-5
The Kings scored first seven times more than they did in 2008-09, and won eight more games in which they scored the first goal -- improving their winning percentage when jumping on top from .667 to .739.

Best 2009-10 Number: 2
Points the Kings failed to get in the 31 games they led after two periods. L.A. went 29-0-2 when leading after 40 minutes and was one of only five teams that got at least one point in every game in which it led after two periods.

Worst 2009-10 Number: 83
Third-period goals allowed by the Kings, the third-highest total of the 16 playoff teams. The Kings surrendered only 56 goals in the first period and 71 in the second.   

The Kings start with two games in Western Canada and play seven of their first 10 on the road before a five-game homestand. They begin an eight-game homestand Dec. 30, but face the toughest trip in the League when they play their first 10 games after the All-Star break away from Staples Center.
Quote of the Day

That's a really tough thing to play through; when you finally are thrown out there, the game is fast, intense, every single play matters, you've got to find a way to play through that and make smart plays. So it's a huge testament to [Vermette] and some other individuals in our locker room that are putting their own ego, their own wants and needs aside, and are ready for those opportunities when they do come.

— Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews on teammate Antoine Vermette, who returned from being a healthy scratch in Game 3 to score the double-overtime winner in Game 4