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Restless Schneider Jumps Right Into Action for Kings

Hockey: Team's new defenseman has two assists in 4-0 exhibition victory over Mighty Ducks.

September 18, 2000|JIM HODGES | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Mathieu Schneider has been antsy, watching his new teammates practice while he sat or skated virtually alone, a groin strain inhibiting his blending into his new surroundings.

On Sunday night, the Kings assimilated their new defenseman into the power play, and he showed why they are paying him $2 million on a one-year contract with assists that set up goals by Rob Blake and Ziggy Palffy in a 4-0 win over the Mighty Ducks at Staples Center before an announced 11,015.

The Ducks were somewhat less than mighty, playing without wingers Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne, center Steve Rucchin, defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky and goalie Guy Hebert.

Schneider was just happy to be on the ice.

"I would have liked to have been able to play in the first game," said Schneider. "But I wanted to make sure, and right now I'm 100%.

"You crave playing a game [after practicing without scrimmages or any other game-like action]."

Even if it's an exhibition.

Schneider will normally set up on the left point for the power play, with Blake on the right, but the two reversed roles on Blake's goal, which came when Schneider took a puck from Palffy and slid it across the ice to Blake.

Blake blasted away for a 1-0 lead.

The other power-play goal came when Schneider again fed Blake. His shot caromed off the skate of a Duck defender to Palffy, who shot, then put away his own rebound.

Palffy added a second goal and fed Brad Chartrand for another for the Kings (2-1). A two-goal, two-assist night for Palffy gave him five points--he had an assist at Phoenix on Thursday--in playing two of the first three King exhibitions.

The victim of all four goals was Dominic Roussel, who started in goal for the Ducks (0-2) and played two periods before giving way to Gregg Naumenko.

The beneficiary was Stephane Fiset, who ran his string of scoreless minutes to 70-plus. He faced 12 shots.

Duck defenseman Peter Podhradsky suffered a broken left foot while blocking a shot and will be out a month.

*

A jury in Los Angeles will hear opening arguments today in Jonathan Liebert's lawsuit against the San Jose Sharks, former Shark winger Joe Murphy and the Kings.

Liebert claims he was hit in the left temple with a puck shot by Murphy into the crowd on Feb. 6, 1998, at the Great Western Forum. The lawsuit claims that the puck was fired in frustration after the Kings' Luc Robitaille scored in the second period, and it also says that Liebert suffers from post-concussion syndrome that inhibits his ability to make a living.

Santa Monica attorney Doug Shaffer, who represents Liebert, said that the Kings are parties to the lawsuit only because the Sharks and Murphy have denied responsibility.

*

The Kings made their first cuts Sunday, sending 10 players to their Lowell affiliate of the AHL, two to teams in the IHL and two back to junior teams in Canada.

Going to Lowell were goalies Alexei Volkov and Travis Scott; defensemen Richard Seeley, Sean Blanchard, Peter Hogan, Joe Rullier and Greg Willers; center Chris Schmidt; ad wingers Cody Bowtell and Kip Brennan.

Defenseman Curtis Murphy went to Orlando of the IHL, and defenseman Dion Darling to Manitoba of the same league.

Going back to junior hockey were center Yanick Lehoux (to Baie Comeau of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League) and winger Brian McGrattan (to Missisauga of the Ontario Hockey League).

Staff writer Chris Foster contributed to this story.

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