March 16, 2013 |
Forget the Gordie Howe hat trick of last season. In many ways, what forward Kyle Clifford did against the San Jose Sharks in Saturday's 5-2 win by the Kings was more impressive than his homage to Howe nearly 14 months ago against Ottawa. Then? Goal, assist and fight, a clear Howe hat trick. Now? Two goals, an exhausting scrap against behemoth defenseman Douglas Murray and a superb defensive play against Joe Pavleski at Staples Center. That play to help shut down Pavelski came shortly before Clifford's second goal of the game to make it 4-1 at 13 minutes 45 seconds of the second period.
March 11, 2013 |
Lesson of the day: scoring balance. Heading into Sunday's action, the Chicago Blackhawks had eight players with five or more goals, and the surging Ducks possess even more scoring depth with 11 players with five or more goals. The Kings? They have four players with five or more, including Jeff Carter's 17 goals, tied for second in the league behind Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos. Carter still accounts for 25% of the Kings' goals, but Saturday may have represented a significant turning point as goals were scored by six Kings in their 6-2 win against the Calgary Flames.
February 25, 2013 |
If a Stanley Cup defense and producing the NHL's second-best record isn't enough to recapture Southern California hockey fans scarred by this season's lockout, NHL officials provided another reason at Staples Center on Monday night. They let the Kings and Ducks play the entire first period without a penalty, permitting a physical, crowd-pleasing contest loaded with 32 hits in the first 20 minutes and 65 in all. "It's a physical game," Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin assessed in a television interview after the second period, when the Ducks picked up their lone penalty only because of the obvious fistfight between left-handers Sheldon Souray and Jordan Nolan of the Kings.
February 20, 2013 |
CALGARY, Canada -- The Kings turned their season around and launched themselves on the path to the Stanley Cup when they acquired forward Jeff Carter from Columbus last Feb. 23. This season, he's almost singlehandedly sustaining their hopes of making the playoffs and giving them a chance to defend their title. Trevor Lewis scored the Kings' go-ahead goal against the Flames on Wednesday on the rebound of a shot by Carter, and Carter provided an insurance goal with a shot from the high slot off a pass by Mike Richards at 9:27 of the third period, key elements of the Kings' 3-1 victory over the Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
February 19, 2013 |
EDMONTON, Canada — Coach Darryl Sutter missed the Kings' practice Monday at Rexall Place to attend to family matters, a club spokesman said, but Sutter's influence was still felt on the ice. Assistant coach John Stevens said Sutter left him and fellow assistant Davis Payne a list of things to work on. "Better puck management, being quicker with the puck, and making better plays in the neutral zone," Stevens said. The practice lines featured Kyle Clifford on the top trio with Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown , and a second line of Dwight King , Mike Richards and Jeff Carter . Dustin Penner and Brad Richardson rotated in on the third line, and Colin Fraser rotated in on the fourth line.
February 16, 2013 |
It figured that two last-place teams that have struggled to score goals would stay true to form when they faced each other Friday. The only surprise is that the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings were one of those bottom feeders. Still seeking an offensive rhythm and a place in the top eight in the West, the Kings on Friday took a small step forward with a 2-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets before an announced sellout crowd at Staples Center. Backup goaltender Jonathan Bernier, starting two games in a row for the first time since January 2011, stopped 12 shots and lost his shutout with 2:35 left in the third, on a backhander by Nick Foligno.
February 13, 2013 |
Drew Doughty had the best plus-minus rating during last season's playoffs among NHL defensemen at plus-11. Eleven games into this season, he's minus-10 for a Kings team that has fallen from Stanley Cup champion to the cellar of the Pacific Division. "I'm not happy about some things — not scoring points, I haven't scored a goal yet — it isn't a good thing," Doughty said Wednesday at Kings practice. "Sometimes bounces just don't go your way. We're not scoring a lot of even-strength goals.
February 10, 2013 |
DETROIT — Urgency, emotion and a balanced effort resurfaced and resulted in 47 shots on goal Sunday, but it wasn't enough to prevent the Kings from losing for the fourth time in five games. A mere 4.5 seconds away from overtime — with at least one prized road point within easy reach — the Kings faltered and the puck trickled ever so slowly behind goalie Jonathan Quick into the net, and Detroit left with a 3-2 victory. Soft goal? Indeed. "Need to make a save there," Kings Coach Darryl Sutter said.
February 9, 2013 |
NASHVILLE — Change was afoot — or more accurately — on the ice Saturday shortly before the Kings finally left what turned into their home most of the week, Nashville. Defenseman Keaton Ellerby, acquired from Florida for a fifth-round pick Friday, practiced with the Kings and was paired with Drew Doughty. Line combinations were shuffled for more balance, at least for the moment, and Jeff Carter was moved back to center. Then there were the necessary props given to Anze Kopitar's native Slovenia.