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HOCKEY

Kings win fourth in a row, beating Columbus, 6-2

Anze Kopitar and Alexander Frolov get two goals each and special teams go two for four on power plays and three for four on penalty kills.

October 26, 2009|Mark Medina

Relying on their offense and special teams, the Kings rolled to their fourth victory in a row, beating Columbus, 6-2, for their best start since the 2005-06 season.

The Kings' offense was led by Anze Kopitar and Alexander Frolov, who had two goals each and are part of a unit that leads the league in goals scored (43) through 12 games.

The Kings' special teams were two for four on power plays and three for four on penalty kills.

Kings Coach Terry Murray said the special-teams unit is "getting better."

"That helps you get where you want to go as far as a structure and a system," Murray said. "Moving your feet and getting things going in the other zone, we're starting to figure that part out."

It didn't take the Kings long at Staples Center in front of an announced crowd of 15,820. They led, 2-0, at 6:18 in the first period thanks to goals from Michal Handzus and Kopitar.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday, October 27, 2009 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 National Desk 1 inches; 34 words Type of Material: Correction
L.A. Kings game: An article in Monday's Sports section about the Kings' victory over Columbus said that the Kings led the National Hockey League with 43 goals. They lead the league with 44 goals.

This came despite playing without forward Justin Williams for the third straight game. Murray said afterward that Williams would miss Wednesday's game at San Jose, adding, "as we get to the end of this week, I think he'll be ready to get going."

Columbus was short-handed in the final 11:04 of the first period. After Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi checked Jason Chimera near the boards in the Kings' zone, Chimera and Derek Dorsett went after Scuderi. Chimera received a 10-minute misconduct penalty. Dorsett, who came off the bench to pursue Scuderi, was given a game-misconduct penalty.

"It was a good hit," Scuderi said. "Apparently, it was questionable, if not over the line with how the guys were up in arms. I understand their guys are just standing up for their teammate and that's fine. But at the same time, I thought it was a good hit."

Despite the depleted lineup, the Blue Jackets managed a scoring chance. Rick Nash drew a penalty shot after Kings defenseman Jack Johnson fouled him at 6:44. But goaltender Jonathan Quick, who made 25 saves on 27 shots, deflected Nash's wrist shot.

This was a much different performance from the Kings' 4-1 loss at Columbus on Oct. 17. In that game, they were 0 for 5 on power plays and Frolov's effort prompted Murray to hold him out of the lineup last Monday against Dallas.

On Sunday, Murray said Frolov signaled he is making a "commitment to the team."

Kopitar finished the game leading the league in goals (10) and points (21).

"It's really nice and something I'm really proud of, but this is Game 12," he said. "After 70 more games, we'll see where I'll be."

It was a feeling no doubt shared by the rest of his teammates as they reflected on their early-season success.

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mark.medina@latimes.com

twitter.com/latimesmedina

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