RALEIGH, N.C. -- Finally, the Los Angeles Kings caught an alleged break in the schedule.
Of course, flying cross-country does not exactly qualify as a restful day. They open a four-game trip here Friday night against the Carolina Hurricanes before moving on to play Florida, Tampa Bay and Nashville.
"It's a long ways to fly, and play, in the National Hockey League," Kings Coach Darryl Sutter said Wednesday.
OK, then, how about calling it an equalizer?
Translation: It is not often the Kings are in town before the host team. The Hurricanes played at Washington on Thursday and the Kings arrived here early Thursday evening.
By the end of this trip, the Kings will have played six of their first eight games on the road. It gets better after that with five of the next six at home. They played only four of their first 15 games at home in last season's lockout-shortened season.
Their last game at home before this trip was a 4-3 overtime win against the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night. Three of the Kings' four goals came on the power play. Two came from Jeff Carter, including the game-winner.
Kings captain Dustin Brown said afterward that the power plays were "huge" against the Senators, adding: "That's what we need from our power play -- to step up at big times. The important thing is to build on it now. We've got to continue to do that."
Heading into Thursday night's action, the Kings' power play was ranked seventh in the NHL, going five for 16. They did not score a power-play goal until the fifth game last season, going 0 for 23 in the first four games.
Of the 10 goals scored by the Kings this season, three have been scored in five-on-five situations.
"We drew penalties that allowed us to score goals five on five. I'm not too caught up in that," Sutter said. "We've scored enough to win every game."
(c)2013 Los Angeles Times
Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services