Senators look to special teams to stop Kings

Senators look to special teams to stop Kings

After toppling the NHL’s best penalty-kill unit, the Ottawa Senators will try to stop the league’s hottest power play when the Senators host the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.The San Jose Sharks lead the league in penalty-kill percentage, yet the Senators went 3-for-5 with the extra attacker en route to a 5-2 victory in Ottawa on Saturday. The Senators trailed after the first period before scoring the game’s last four goals.As good as the Sharks’ system is, Ottawa coach D.J. Smith noted that his team deploys similar tactics for its own penalty-kill unit.”That’s the penalty kill they face most days (in practice), which is the top-down pressure situation,” Smith said. “There’s five or six teams in the league that play that, and they see it all the time. So it’s not new … but at the end of the day it’s execution.”Ottawa is 4-1-0 in its last five games, in part because of an increasingly dangerous power play. The Senators are 9-for-24 (37.5 percent) with the man advantage over their last six games.While those numbers are solid, the Kings have been even better. Los Angeles has scored at least one power-play goal in each of its last six games, with an excellent 9-for-17 total (52.9 percent).Two of those goals came in the previous meeting between the Senators and Kings on Nov. 27 in Los Angeles. Arthur Kaliyev scored twice on the power play to send the game to overtime, before Claude Giroux scored the winner in a 3-2 Ottawa victory.The overtime loss was part of a 2-3-3 stretch for the Kings over their last eight games, and the team is looking for more consistency as it embarks on the first of a six-game road trip.A lack of steady play hurt the Kings in their last game, a 4-2 home loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday. Carolina held a 3-0 lead through two periods before the Kings narrowed the gap on third-period goals from Kaliyev (another power-play marker) and Samuel Fagemo.

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