Kings: Johnson makes Murray look like a genius in 3-1 win

February, 2, 2011
2/02/11
10:02
PM PT
Kings 3, Edmonton Oilers 1

Eight keys to the game:

THE FACTS: A small tweak to the first power-play unit came up big for the Kings Wednesday night, as Jack Johnson assisted on two man-advantage goals and later scored at even strength to lift the Kings at Rexall Place in Edmonton.

THE STAT: The Kings had multiple power-play goals in the same game for the first time since Jan. 11.

TURNING POINT: Edmonton took a 1-0 lead in the second period on a goal by Magnus Paajarvi but the Kings took advantage of an elbowing penalty on Dustin Penner 19 seconds later. Anze Kopitar won the face-off and sent the puck back to Johnson, who passed to Drew Doughty. Ryan Smyth then deflected Doughty’s slap shot into the net five seconds into the power play to tie the score, 1-1. Six minutes later, the trio hooked up again on a nearly identical play for a 2-1 lead.

HOT: Smyth scored two goals to give him a team-high 21 on the season. Smyth, who will turn 35 later this month, has four goals and two assists in the last five games.

NOT: The Kings missed another penalty-shot attempt, a day after missing all three shootout attempts in a 1-0 loss to Minnesota. The Kings also missed a penalty shot two weeks ago in a one-goal loss in Dallas.

GOOD MOVE: Coach Terry Murray moved Johnson on to the first power-play unit during the loss to Minnesota, replacing Jarret Stoll as one of the point men. Murray previously said he preferred splitting up Doughty and Johnson so the first and second power-play units would have more balance.

BAD MOVE: Kings rookie forward Kyle Clifford only played nine shifts with 6:15 of ice time, about one-third less than his average. Either Clifford was injured during the game or he did something really bad to anger Murray. Let’s hope for the latter.

NOTABLE: The Kings now have 58 points, the same as Chicago, which is in eighth place in the Western Conference. The difference is the Kings have played one more game, so they’ll have to remain in ninth. Still, with a 4-0-1 record in their last five games, they've made up a lot of ground in a short time.

UP NEXT: Saturday at Calgary, 7 p.m. PT.

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