LOS ANGELES — Ryan Smyth scored two goals and added an assist, Jarret Stoll scored a goal and tallied one assist and Justin Williams contributed two assists while Jonathan Quick stopped 31 shots to lead the Los Angeles Kings to a 3-1 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers in front of a sell-out crowd of 18,118 fans at Staples Center during the Kings’ 2010-11 home opener on October 12.
The Kings sputtered offensively in the first and second periods, rarely getting pucks or bodies to the front of the Atlanta net.
The Thrashers drew first blood at 2:26 of the second period when right wing Chris Thorburn split Kings defensemen Davis Drewiske and Jake Muzzin at the Kings’ blue line and got off a wrist shot from high in the slot.
Quick made the save, but coughed up a big rebound right back to Thorburn at the bottom of the right circle, where he wristed the puck past Quick, who could not recover from the first shot in time.
The Kings finally figured out that they needed a much greater presence in front of the Atlanta net, and it paid off when Smyth got them on the board, backhanding a rebound past Atlanta goalie Chris Mason at the 3:53 mark.
Just 2:17 later, Stoll got a chance from the right circle off the rush, fluttering a wrist shot past Mason at the 6:10 mark.
Stoll’s wrist shot was deflected at the point of contact by Atlanta defenseman Ron Hainsey, throwing off Mason’s timing on the shot.
Smyth added an empty net goal at the 19:30 mark to close out the scoring.
- Both of the Kings wins have come when trailing after the second period. Last season, the Kings won eight times when trailing after two periods (tied for second most in the NHL).
- Smyth now has 158 career multi-point games (39 three-point games). He is also ten games from 1,000 in his NHL career.
- The Kings have killed 13 of 15 penalties so far (86.7%; one of those power play goals allowed was scored into an empty net).
- The last time the Kings won their home opener at Staples Center was 2006-07 against the St. Louis Blues.
- The Kings are now 22-13-8 all-time in home openers.
- Dustin Brown had eight hits in the game. He also had eight hits on October 9 in Vancouver.
- Willie Mitchell had a team-leading 24:47 time-on-ice in the game and earned his first point with the Kings.
- The Kings are three regular season home wins away from 800.
- Prior to the game, the Kings activated defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov from injured reserve and assigned him to the Manchester Monarchs. Voynov missed the Kings’ 2010 training camp due to a shoulder injury.
Raw Audio Interviews (edited to remove extraneous material and dead air)
Ryan Smyth (2:29)
Dustin Brown (3:01)
Terry Murray (10:04)
Game Highlights From NHL Video On YouTube
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