Revamped top line lifts Kings passed Islanders, 2-1
If five games is an indication, the Kings have found something special with their new-look No. 1 line.
With Ryan Smyth joining holdovers Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams, the Kings are off to a quick start. Since an opening-night loss to Phoenix, they have won four straight, the latest a 2-1 victory against the New York Islanders on Monday.
“It’s a great feeling, but we don’t want to ride our highs too high and our lows too low,” said Smyth, acquired from Colorado in an off-season trade. “We want to stay pretty even keel and enjoy our time.”
Kopitar and Smyth, who assisted on Kopitar’s second-period, power-play goal that broke a scoreless tie, have at least one point in all five games. With Williams, the trio has combined for nine goals and 14 assists.
“We were put together right off the bat in training camp,” Kopitar said. “Ryan is experienced enough and Justin is experienced enough that they know what it takes to get the chemistry going.”
Add in good young defenseman Drew Doughty, who pushed the lead to 2-0 in the third, and emerging goalie Jonathan Quick, the Kings seem to be building for a bright future.
Quick, who has played every minute in the first five games, was rarely tested and finished with 28 saves.
He fell 1:55 short of his fifth NHL shutout when Matt Moulson scored his second goal of the season.
“He is playing better every game,” Kings Coach Terry Murray said of Quick. “They had a couple of opportunities in the early part of the game where he came up with big glove saves.
“We tried to keep things at 2-0, but they’ve got some good young players. They found a way to score and make it interesting.”
Martin Biron made 20 saves for the Islanders and is one win from 200 in the NHL.