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The Noon Number: 26

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After some growing pains, Marian Gaborik and the first line are producing.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

26: Marian Gaborik, Anze Kopitar, and Justin Williams have scored 26 points in 13 games since the trade deadline.

Last night against Minnesota, the first line was the best line for the Los Angeles Kings, and it wasn't even close. Gaborik's arrival prompted questions about how Darryl Sutter would arrange his lines, and some juggling was to be expected. However, Sutter has been consistent, playing Gaborik almost exclusively with Kopitar and Williams at even strength. Has it improved the first line's output? It certainly hasn't hurt, as the trio has notched 26 points in 13 games since Gaborik's arrival.


First Line Since Gaborik Trade

PLAYER GAMES PRE-TRADE PTS PRE-TRADE PPG PRE-TRADE GAMES POST-TRADE PTS POST-TRADE PPG POST-TRADE
Anze Kopitar 63 52 0.83 13 11 0.85
Marian Gaborik 22 14 0.64 13 9 0.69
Justin Williams 63 34 0.54 13 6 0.46

The first line hasn't exactly exploded offensively since the trade, and Williams has had his share of ineffective games in March. However, yesterday was an indication of what the line is capable of, and there's no reason to think they can't improve their offensive output even further.