Only in hockey could two men slug it out one night and meet for dinner the next night to celebrate their Ivy League days.
"It's hilarious," said Kings right wing Kevin Westgarth, who was recruited for Princeton by Ducks enforcer George Parros but traded punches with him Tuesday.
"My coach from Princeton came, and some alums. Princeton paid, I think. We're alums now. We're supposed to donate at least as much money as our dinner cost."
Westgarth, who has cemented a role on the fourth line, practiced alongside Kyle Clifford and Brayden Schenn on Thursday. With Scott Parse off the ice four straight days because of toe and groin injuries and Brad Richardson on the second line, it looks likely that the Clifford-Schenn-Westgarth trio will start the season with the Kings.
All three were visible in an 8-3 exhibition rout of the Ducks on Tuesday. Clifford drove to the net for a goal while Schenn played well and showed his feistiness in a tussle with Luca Sbisa. And Westgarth did his job of deterring opponents from taking liberties with skill players such as Drew Doughty.
"I don't want anybody to look at Drew or anybody else on the team. That's kind of the goal," Westgarth said.
Although the 26-year-old native of Amherstburg, Canada, didn't figure in the scoring Tuesday, he should be an upgrade over Raitis Ivanans, who managed to play 61 games last season without recording a point. Westgarth had 11 goals, 25 points and 180 penalty minutes last season in 76 games with Manchester of the American Hockey League, and his ability to chip in offensively helped him win a roster spot.
Still, he's not taking anything for granted.
"The first game hasn't come yet and I'm not going to count my chickens. I'm just going to make sure that I'm still doing all the right things," he said.
"I look forward to being with this team, and where we're at as a unit is incredible. Such a young group, and starting to build some success and really getting some momentum. It's awesome to be a part of and know I get to protect these guys."
Greene still seeing red
Kings defenseman Matt Greene, expected to miss the first month of the season after undergoing extensive shoulder surgery, has been more active in practice but is still wearing a red, no-contact jersey.
"All the trainers and the doctors say everything is going along well. They say that I'm on schedule but I don't know what the schedule is," he said. "It's good to get out and get a real practice in with the guys and just be around the guys a little bit. It's good, too, mentally and emotionally."
Kings Coach Terry Murray said goaltender Jonathan Quick will start against Colorado at Las Vegas on Saturday and there's a chance Erik Ersberg, who missed a start because of a bruised left hand, will make his exhibition season debut Sunday against the Ducks at Anaheim.
Ducks forward Bobby Ryan, who had been moved to center, was back on left wing at practice Thursday….The Ducks, who play the Canucks on Friday at the Honda Center, placed defensemen Brett Festerling and Danny Syvret on waivers. That can only increase the chances 18-year-old rookie Cam Fowler will make the team.