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Ducks top Kings in final exhibition

Jonathan Quick has established himself at the Kings' No. 1 goalie. Ducks need work on defense.

September 28, 2009|Helene Elliott

Two weeks of training camp and eight exhibition games didn't tell the Kings or Ducks much they didn't know before this whole sweaty exercise began.

The Kings' main lesson from camp and their 5-4 loss to the Ducks on Sunday at the Honda Center in both teams' preseason finale was that Jonathan Quick deserves to be their starting goaltender and that Jonathan Bernier or Erik Ersberg are a pick-'em for the backup job. Coach Terry Murray said he expects that decision, and others that will pare the roster by four to reach the 23-man limit, to be made before the team reconvenes for practice Tuesday in El Segundo.

"Quick is clearly to me the No. 1 goaltender," Murray said after his team finished the preseason at 4-3-1. "He played well throughout the camp."

Two factors complicate the Kings' deliberations: the suspension that will cost defenseman Sean O'Donnell the first two games of the season, and the pulled groin muscle rugged winger Richard Clune suffered Saturday. Clune appeared to have won a job, but Murray said he will be out a couple of weeks, probably a reprieve for Kevin Westgarth or Raitis Ivanans.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday, October 01, 2009 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 National Desk 1 inches; 58 words Type of Material: Correction
Hockey: An article in Monday's Sports section on the exhibition game between the Ducks and the Kings said Kings Coach Terry Murray indicated Brayden Schenn would start the season in the American Hockey League. Murray merely indicated Schenn would not start the season with the Kings. Schenn was sent to his junior team in the Western Hockey League.

Murray also indicated Brayden Schenn, the Kings' first-round pick in June, will start the season in the American Hockey League to get the playing time his inexperience prevents him from getting now in the NHL.

The main lesson for the Ducks (5-3), who gave up three power-play goals and another late in the game with Bernier pulled in favor of an extra skater, was the urgency to improve their special-teams play and defensive zone coverage.

Bobby Ryan scored twice and added an assist, Corey Perry had a goal and an assist, and Ryan Getzlaf scored their only power-play goal in four tries, a sign the top line is ready to go. Joffrey Lupul scored the fifth goal, off a beautiful three-on-one with Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne, so the second line also seems set.

But 35 shots against, needless penalties by hulking winger Evgeny Artyukhin and little muscle around the net said the Ducks have a lot of work to do.

Ryan Smyth scored the Kings' first two goals and had two assists. Anze Kopitar scored the third and fourth goals and had an assist. Neither had much hindrance.

Asked to rate his team's readiness, Ryan was realistic. "On a scale of 1 to 10, I guess somewhere around a 6 or a 7. We have a lot of ways to go," he said. "There are little detail areas we can certainly improve on, but I think guys are starting to find some chemistry."

The Kings' roster decisions are being eagerly awaited by Bernier and Ersberg. Each played three games, with Bernier giving up seven goals on 59 shots and Ersberg yielding seven on 55 shots.

Bernier sulked after being demoted a year ago but said he'd make the best of whatever happens next. "I think there's three good goalies. All three had a pretty good camp, I thought," he said. "I'm anxious to see what's coming up."


Times staff writer Mark Medina contributed to this report

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