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L.A.'s power-play ineffectiveness one of few worries

by Corey Masisak /
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Killing penalties has been a great strength for the Los Angeles Kings in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
They have erased 92.1 percent of their foes' opportunities, which is tied with the St. Louis Blues for best among the 16 postseason participants. They are also perfect in two games against the New Jersey Devils in the Cup Final.

Still, it is a concern for the Kings that they have put New Jersey on the power play so much -- eight times in two games, more than twice the number of man-advantage situations they have earned.

Drew Doughty
Defense - LAK
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 9 | PTS: 12
SOG: 39 | +/-: 12
"I think we're doing a good job between the whistles and kind of doing that rough stuff, but we're taking some minor penalties that we wouldn't like to take," Drew Doughty said. "They've got a good power play with a lot firepower up front, but our PK has been carrying us through a lot of these series. Even though we're confident in our PK, we can't keep giving them that man advantage."

Coach Darryl Sutter was hoping for more work from his team on the power play after just one chance in Game 1. The Kings did draw an extra penalty in Game 2, but Doughty cancelled it out with one of his own 51 seconds later.

While Sutter has defended his team's work on the power play, the Kings are now 6-for-77 in the postseason, and three of those goals have come when up two men. Los Angeles is 3-of-4 in 5-on-3 situations, needing only 3:28 to score those goals.

In contrast, the Kings are 3-for-71 in 5-on-4 situations. Between 5-on-4 and 4-on-3, the Kings have been up one man for 126:42 in the postseason.

"We're not happy with the way we're producing," Doughty said. "When we get those opportunities, that is a chance to put teams away. In the third period before I took one to even it up, if we score on that power play, that puts that team away.

"We've got a lot of work to do. They kind of changed things I felt on their PK last night that we didn't know was coming. They were forcing up top really hard and they were creating those turnovers. Now we know to expect that, and tomorrow if we get a power play, it is mandatory that we have to score."

Added coach Darryl Sutter: "I think, first off, just because the technology, it's pre-scouted right down to the inch. I think sometimes that can be an overload, too. I think penalty killing becomes such a premium because it is part of the defense. Usually finals and playoffs are lower scoring. Those instances get so emphasized by coaching staffs. There's not much secret in it ever. Even if you do anything different, you got to practice it ... [and] there's open practices now."

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