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KINGS-DUCKS REPORT

Calder scores twice as L.A. beats Anaheim

September 14, 2007|Eric Stephens and Lonnie White | Times Staff Writers

Kyle Calder scored two goals in his Kings debut and Brian Willsie put in the game-winner at 14:54 of the third period for a 5-4 exhibition victory over the Ducks in front of an announced crowd of 16,973 at Honda Center.

Gabe Gauthier and Matt Moulson also scored for the Kings. The Ducks got goals from Maxim Kondratiev, Mike Hoffman, Dan LaCouture and Jason King. The teams play again Saturday at Staples Center.

It appears that Jean-Sebastien Giguere, still recovering from his Aug. 6 hernia surgery, won't be on the ice until next week at the earliest.

"It's way too early to be making inroads until I start to see him on the ice with his equipment on," Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle said.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday, September 15, 2007 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 37 words Type of Material: Correction
Hockey: An article on the Kings and Ducks in Friday's Sports section indicated that the Kings' Wayne Simmonds would play his first NHL preseason game on Saturday. Actually, he played in Thursday night's game against the Ducks.

Carlyle said he'll name a new captain if Scott Niedermayer continues to ponder retirement.

Because of the shortened camp schedule thanks to the Sept. 29-30 games in London with the Kings, Carlyle said he expected to trot out next week what probably will be the opening-night lineup.

"Whatever that date is on the calendar, whatever that time is, it's going to be about preparing our team to play the opener in London," he said.

Individual game tickets for the Ducks go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m. and can be purchased at the arena box office or via anaheimducks.com or Ticketmaster at (714) 703-2545. Wristbands will be handed out at 7 a.m. . . . General Manager Brian Burke took the Stanley Cup to Camp Pendleton to visit with the Wounded Warriors Battalion West, which helps Marines recover from their injuries.

Kings Coach Marc Crawford, faced with the same schedule, has made playing time a priority to help figure out the roster.

That's why a lot of the Kings' young players were not in Thursday night's game. One who did not dress was forward Wayne Simmonds, the Kings' No. 2 pick in this year's draft.

"My job is to make it as hard as I can for the Kings not to send me back down to juniors," said Simmonds, who had 49 points and 112 penalty minutes in 66 games last season playing for the Owen Sound Attack of the Ontario Hockey League.

Since the start of rookie camp on Sept. 3, Simmonds has impressed the Kings with his assertiveness, strength and skill. Although he's listed at 6 feet 1 and 162 pounds, Simmonds, 19, plays as if he's much bigger.

"Wherever they want me to play, I'm ready," said Simmonds, a native of Scarborough, Canada. "If they need me to play in a heavyweight fashion, I can do that but I . . . can score goals and create scoring opportunities."

Simmonds' play is not the only reason he stands out. He is also the only black player on the roster. "I really look up to great legends like Willie O'Ree and Herb Carnegie," he said.

O'Ree was the first black to play in the NHL, with the Boston Bruins in 1957-58. And Carnegie was given a tryout in 1948 with the New York Rangers and offered a contract for the minor leagues, but the terms led him to turn down the offer.

Of being a young black player in today's changing hockey world, Simmonds said: "For the most part, it doesn't come up. . . . I know what I'm here for and that's to play hockey. I'm here because I love to play the game."

He hopes to play his first NHL preseason game Saturday when the Ducks visit Staples Center.

--

eric.stephens@latimes.com

lonnie.white@latimes.com

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