Coaches juggle lines all the time looking to spark a flagging offense…but it almost never works out this well.
Justin Williams and Marian Gaborik scored two goals apiece and Dustin Brown chipped in with a goal and an assist to lead the Los Angeles Kings to season-extending 6-3 win over the San Jose Sharks Thursday night. Williams and Brown were the biggest pieces shuffled as part of a roster shakeup engineered by Darryl Sutter before the game.
Brown, moved to the top line alongside Gaborik and Anze Kopitar, played his best game of the series. He brought a physicality that helped slow Joe Thornton’s line (a game-high 10 hits) and a camping permit that made life miserable for Antti Niemi.
“For me it’s just getting to the net,” Brown said. “If I can blow my way to the net it opens up ice for those guys. I think Gaborik’s goal in the beginning of the third is a result of it. I gave that guy a lot of space so he’s going to put it in the net. That’s my job to create space for him.”
Williams, who always seems to come up big when the stakes are highest, clicked immediately with Jarret Stoll on the third line.
“We’re certainly happy we got the win, but we feel we have a long way to go obviously,” he said. “We’re going take another step in San Jose and it is going to be a tough one.”