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Kings Report

Power-Play Woes a Pressing Issue

November 07, 1998|JIM HODGES

With a power play that is seemingly powerless, the Kings are putting increasing pressure on themselves in what is becoming a Catch-22 situation.

The more they press, the longer they go without a power-play goal, a situation that has reached 16 opportunities in a row.

The longer they go without a goal, the more they press.

"We're doing all the right things," defenseman Steve Duchesne said Friday. "We're just not finishing."

Instead, breakdowns are starting to occur, with players taking it on themselves to create scoring chances and losing the puck in the process.

"The only way a power play works is for five players to work together as a unit," said Duchesne, who acknowledged that he has been guilty of solo flights of fancy on the power play as the pressure has increased.

"One player can't do it."

Overall, the Kings are four for 51 on the power play; no team in the NHL has fewer power-play goals. They have as many short-handed goals as they have power-play scores, a tribute to the NHL's best penalty-killing unit.

Tonight vs. Dallas

6:30, Ch. 9 (7:30)

Site--Great Western Forum.

Radio--KRLA (1110).

Records--Kings 4-5-3, Stars 6-2-2.

Record vs. Stars (1997-98)--0-3-1.

Update--Dallas lost one of the weirder games you'll see in the NHL on Wednesday night at San Jose when the Sharks scored four goals on only nine shots. The Stars are newcomers to the Pacific Division (hence the game's time, as a concession to Dallas television), and have immediately taken over with 14 points in 10 games. They were good last season and got better with the addition of Brett Hull from St. Louis. He has three goals and nine points, tied with Mike Modano for second on the team behind Darryl Sydor, who has four goals and 11 points.

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