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Posted On Thursday, 10.16.2014 / 4:15 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blues at Kings

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- A kinder, gentler game between the Los Angeles Kings and St. Louis Blues?

It seems unlikely for teams that combined for 479 hits in their 2013 Western Conference Quarterfinal series. But even Kings coach Darryl Sutter agreed with St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock's opinion that the Kings and Blues play different styles from then, which makes the first game between them Thursday at Staples Center more interesting.

"For sure," Sutter said. "Quite honest, I couldn't tell you much about [the 2013 series] other than what was said outside. We had a good series and both teams probably have a higher skill set than they did at that time. Both teams have moved toward, for sure, [being] more of a four-line team."

The Blues added center Paul Stastny and the Kings became more of an attacking team last season with the addition of left wing Marian Gaborik. Los Angeles also has more speed with Gaborik and the line of left wing Tanner Pearson, center Jeff Carter and right wing Tyler Toffoli.

So the days of the combined 100-hit games between the teams might be less common?

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.14.2014 / 4:08 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Oilers at Kings

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- It's only four games into the season, but it appears that the Los Angeles Kings top line will undergo its third incarnation when it plays the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday at Staples Center.

Left wing Marian Gaborik did not skate and is dealing with the same muscle injury he had in the preseason. Center Mike Richards took Gaborik's place with Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams on the top line. Andy Andreoff centered the fourth line and will make his NHL debut.

Coach Darryl Sutter only said that, "We'll see [Tuesday]. We'll decide [Tuesday night] what we're doing," and of Andreoff that "I hope he plays and I hope he plays well."

Kings general manager Dean Lombardi said Gaborik is out of the lineup and there is no timetable for his return, according to the Orange County Register.

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Posted On Sunday, 10.12.2014 / 3:58 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Jets at Kings

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -– The Los Angeles Kings will likely be without defenseman Jake Muzzin for at least one more game. Muzzin took extra practice at the optional skate Sunday morning and said he hasn't been cleared yet from an undisclosed injury.

The Kings begin a six-game homestand against the Winnipeg Jets at Staples Center.

"I wouldn't think too much longer," Muzzin said. "I've got to talk to the doctor and see what he says. That's about it. If he's says 'Good to go,' I'm good to go. I feel ready, conditioning wise. I can continue to skate and bag [skate] when I can't play."

Muzzin's absence means that Brayden McNabb will continue to get thrown in the fire as the defensive partner with Drew Doughty. McNabb has seen the opponent's top forwards, a tough task for a young player.

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Posted On Thursday, 10.02.2014 / 8:00 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - NHL Training Camps blog

Ducks' Fowler day-to-day with leg injury

ANAHEIM -- Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said defenseman Cam Fowler is day-to-day after Fowler left practice Thursday with an apparent leg injury.

Fowler had to be helped off the ice and did not put weight on his leg and appeared to be a lot of pain but Boudreau said it wasn't severe.

"He's actually not bad right now," Boudreau said. "You always get nervous when you sort of think you hurt something. You never know how much it is. Right now it's day-to-day. The trainer didn't say it was too bad. I'm expecting him, maybe not in the lineup Saturday [for Anaheim's preseason finale], but for sure [for the season opener Oct.9 at] Pittsburgh."

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Posted On Friday, 06.13.2014 / 6:09 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014 Stanley Cup Final blog

Kings focused on good start with Cup in the building

LOS ANGELES -- Two years ago veteran defenseman Willie Mitchell stood in front of his locker before Game 4 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final with a glowing expression. It was difficult for him not to get emotional at the prospect of winning the Cup for the first time.

It might have also been difficult for the rest of the Los Angeles Kings, who lost in their first attempt to close the series against the New Jersey Devils at home. They are more guarded this time around, and it was evident at the morning skate before Game 5 Friday against the New York Rangers at Staples Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

The Kings lead the best-of-7 series 3-1. This is their first chance to close it out at home.

"As a team, I don't think we talk about [2012], but at the same time I think we all know that we failed to close it out two times," defenseman Drew Doughty said. "That's always going to be in the back of our minds. But what we can do is we can learn from that experience. We know what we did wrong and we know why we let them back in the series.

"That's why [Friday] we figure we have to close it out, because the more games we give them the more life they get. Especially here at Staples, our home arena. It's a very important game for us."

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Posted On Saturday, 06.07.2014 / 7:18 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014 Stanley Cup Final blog

Defenseman Regehr not in Kings lineup for Game 2

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr is not in the lineup for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the New York Rangers on Saturday at Staples Center (NBC, CBC, RDS).

Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter said it would be a game-time decision whether to insert Regehr, who has been out since May 3 with a knee injury.

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Posted On Friday, 06.06.2014 / 2:42 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014 Stanley Cup Final blog

Kings defenseman Regehr likely to play in Game 2

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr likely will return to the lineup for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday at Staples Center (7 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

"He'll probably play [Saturday]," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said of Regehr at the end of his press conference Friday.

The Kings lead the best-of-7 series 1-0 after a 3-2 overtime win Wednesday.

Regehr has been out since May 3 with a knee injury that occurred in Game 1 of the Western Conference Second Round series against the Anaheim Ducks when right wing Teemu Selanne hit Regehr against the end boards.

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Posted On Wednesday, 06.04.2014 / 6:21 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014 Stanley Cup Final blog

Kings defenseman Regehr unlikely to play in Game 1

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr said he is available, but it doesn't appear that he will skate against the New York Rangers on Wednesday in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

Regehr said he has been cleared in his recovery from a knee injury that has kept him out since May 3, when he was injured in the first period of Game 1 of the second round against the Anaheim Ducks.

However, coach Darryl Sutter said of Regehr, "He's getting closer. [But] I probably wouldn't play him [in Game 1]."


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Posted On Tuesday, 06.03.2014 / 6:07 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014 Stanley Cup Final blog

Boyle has fond memories of time with Kings

LOS ANGELES -- As New York Rangers center Brian Boyle waited to take his turn on the podium for Stanley Cup Final media day Tuesday, former teammate Sean O'Donnell walked over, shook his hand and leaned in for a quick hug.

Boyle played all of 36 games for the Los Angeles Kings five years ago, but he still retains friends from the brief period that put him on the path to the NHL. Boyle, picked 26th in the 2003 NHL Draft by the Kings, will face his former team in the Final starting Wednesday at Staples Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

Boyle came up in the Kings' organization after a four-year career at Boston College. He played first for coach Marc Crawford and then for Terry Murray during the period when Murray was developing the Kings' younger players into what would become, under Darryl Sutter, a Cup-winning team in 2012.


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Posted On Friday, 05.30.2014 / 9:14 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Kings series blog

'Zombie mode' Kings ready for Game 6 challenge

LOS ANGELES -- It's been one month since the Los Angeles Kings made NHL history.

Friday marked 30 days since the Kings became the fourth team to erase a 3-0 series deficit and win a best-of-7 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Kings were calm and collected that day before they eliminated the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference First Round. Los Angeles then erased a 3-2 series deficit against the Anaheim Ducks in the second round and won another Game 7.

Such efforts would leave a lot of teams drained, but Friday morning was business as usual as the Kings prepared for another attempt to close out the defending Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final at Staples Center (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

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Quote of the Day

For us it's a little bit different. I've never been in front of this much media. This is more than we've ever had to deal with in Tampa. I guess we're on a little bit bigger stage now. It's nice, you have to enjoy it. This doesn't happen too often.

— Lightning forward J.T. Brown after his first Media Day experience on Tuesday in preparation of Game 1 on Wednesday