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Moon shot? Airmail? By any name, Kopitar-to-Brown goal was memorable

December 28, 2010 |  3:22 pm

Kings Coach Terry Murray gave his players Tuesday off except for an afternoon meeting, but the rest of the hockey world was still marveling at the high lob pass by Anze Kopitar to Dustin Brown that put Brown  behind the Sharks defense and in position to score the Kings’ final goal in their 4-0 victory at San Jose on Monday.

Here’s the goal, in case you missed it...

And here’s what Brown, Kopitar and Murray had to say about it after the game.

Question to Brown: Did you know that was coming?

Brown: “Yeah, we’ve actually tried that in similar situations. You probably don’t realize it because it’s never connected like that. Either I’m thinking he’s going to do it too early [and] I’m going too fast or he flips it on a second too late and it ends up being an icing. Tonight we both were on the same page with that flip. He put it right there.”

Question to Kopitar: Brown said you had tried that play before but it had never quite connected.

Kopitar: “We have. We’ve connected a few times. It just wasn’t a case like this. Either the [defense] was back so it wasn’t like a clear-cut breakaway. Tonight it worked out pretty well."

Question to Murray: When you saw Kopitar lift that pass to Brown, he said they had tried it before but never connected. Is that the time when maybe you can try it, or were you nervous and did not like it?

Murray: “It’s just to get it going north. That was the most important thing. You wonder if it’s going to be an offside. I’ve only seen that play connect one time before, ever. It was a pretty creative move.

“Actually just to release pressure it’s the right kind of move to make too. Get it over the top. The old moon shot. Then you just hope that maybe something happens off of it.”

Murray also said Tuesday that he plans to start Jonathan Quick on Wednesday against the Coyotes and is leaning toward starting Jonathan Bernier on Thursday against the Philadelphia Flyers at Staples Center. Through Monday’s games quick ranked third in the NHL with a .932 save percentage, second in goals-against average at 1.86, tied for third with four shutouts and third in wins with 18.

“The game [Monday] night was a good game for him," Murray said of Quick. "He’s been playing a very good game here in the last while too. Just get him right back into it.”

Murray said he hadn’t made a firm decision on Thursday’s starting goalie but Bernier is likely to get the nod. “He’s played pretty well too in his last couple starts. And there’s no need, necessarily, to go back to back with Quicker right now,” Murray said.

He also said he will wait until Wednesday morning to judge the readiness of left wing Alexei Ponikarovsky, who missed Monday’s game because of a lower-body injury. “He seemed to be walking a lot better [Monday] night but that doesn’t necessarily mean a lot when it comes to skating,” Murray said. If Ponikarovsky can play, his return would likely be the only change from Monday’s lineup.

And on his night off, Murray planned to scout the Coyotes against the Ducks on Tuesday at Arena.


Kings prospect Brayden Schenn had a goal and four assists in Canada's 7-2 rout of the Czech Republic at the world junior championships.

-- Helene Elliott, in Glendale, Ariz.