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Posted On Thursday, 10.10.2013 / 4:16 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Rangers to face Ducks without Nash

ANAHEIM -- Brad Richards stated the obvious when it comes to the state of the New York Rangers.

Coming off an ugly 9-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks, the Rangers will be without Rick Nash for at least Thursday against the Anaheim Ducks and reportedly Saturday as well.

"It's not ideal, that's for sure," Richards said. "That's about all I can really say. We want him back. We need him, but we don't have him. People got to step up and we've got to find another way to play that even more simple [game]. We can't dwell on it. We hope he's back as quick as possible, obviously.

"It looked like he was just getting his game together there against L.A. [on Monday]. He's pretty dominant when that happens. We want him back ASAP."

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.09.2013 / 4:08 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Senators' Spezza will sit out against Kings

LOS ANGELES -- Jason Spezza appeared fine in the morning skate Wednesday, a day after he went through a full practice. So it was with slight surprise that the Ottawa Senators captain said he wouldn't play Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Kings because of his sore groin.

"We're going to err on the side of caution. Just to make sure, I guess," Spezza said. "They're worried that by taking the extra game [Wednesday] it gives me a few extra days and hopefully I'll never have to talk about my groin ever again."

Spezza smiled when asked if he had to be talked into sitting out. Ottawa doesn't play again until Saturday at the San Jose Sharks.

"We had some good discussions this morning, and just decided it's the best move for the team," Spezza said. "It's the best move to make sure this gets healed, goes away. It's gotten better. It's improved. We're trying to make sure it's a non-subject moving forward."

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Posted On Monday, 10.07.2013 / 4:58 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Rangers' Callahan 'amped up' for season debut

LOS ANGELES -- Ryan Callahan didn't need much of a morning skate in anticipation of his season debut. The New York Rangers captain was among the first off the ice at Staples Center and it's not difficult to imagine he's ready for action.

"I think any first game of the year you're amped up and excited to get out there, but that's something you have to control and I think once I get that first shift or that first hit out of the way then I'll settle in," Callahan said.

Callahan had surgery in May to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder and was not able to play any preseason games. He is expected to be on the third line with Taylor Pyatt and Brian Boyle when the Rangers play the Los Angeles Kings.


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Posted On Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 6:22 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Ducks see Beauchemin's recovery ahead of schedule

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Francois Beauchemin hardly looked like he was easing back into hockey on the first day of training camp for the Anaheim Ducks.

Most players take part in one of three on-ice sessions, but the defenseman was in back-to-back hour-long skates and did all the drills, without taking contact. It was Beauchemin’s call, and he made coaches a little nervous when he bumped up against Emerson Etem.

"They said 'OK, back off, back off,'" Beauchemin said. "But I just wasn't going to let him beat me wide."

Beauchemin is less than four months removed from May 16 surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee, an injury that can take up to six months to heal. He said his goal is to play in the season opene

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Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 5:11 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Kings' Brown, Williams, Stoll all say their healthy

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – One by one, key veterans of the Los Angeles Kings popped their heads out the door of their practice facility locker room a day before training camp opened.

Captain Dustin Brown, Justin Williams and Jarret Stoll all pronounced themselves ready to go Wednesday after offseason medical issues. The scariest was Stoll's seizure incident at his home in July. Stoll said he underwent evaluations for three weeks and has since felt fine.

"Everything looks normal, 100 percent," Stoll said. "Just for peace of mind, I guess - I feel good. I feel healthy."

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Posted On Thursday, 06.06.2013 / 2:13 PM

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

Toffoli made magazine cover in unusual way

LOS ANGELES -- Tyler Toffoli first got a text message from his father, Rob. Then the texts came in from his friends.

Toffoli made news.

No, this wasn't after a big goal or a big play. The Los Angeles Kings forward was on a regional cover of this week's Sports Illustrated -- upside down, to be exact, on the receiving end of a hit by Marcus Kruger of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Yes, Toffoli has been posterized.

"I think my dad maybe texted me and everyone else texted me so it was kind of funny," Toffoli said after the morning skate Thursday. "It's not a big deal. It's hockey. You get hit. It's a pretty funny picture, to be honest."

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Posted On Wednesday, 06.05.2013 / 1:13 AM

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

Quick's save on Bickell could be a turning point

LOS ANGELES – It was a game saving save and perhaps a series-changing save, and it also meant much more to the Los Angeles Kings.

Late in the third period with a 2-1 lead to protect, Chicago Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell found himself with the puck on his stick and a gaping chance to tie the score and send Game 3 of the Western Conference Final into overtime.

Kings goalie Jonathan Quick somehow got his right leg down and his blocker up to stop the shot. The sellout crowd might still be digesting it and enjoying it on replay. Quick did not have that benefit.

"On the initial shot, I kind of got bumped a little and spun a little off angle, so I wasn't really able to put the rebound where I wanted to, so it ends up on his stick," Quick said. "You're just trying to cover net and get fortunate and it hits your blocker. Obviously, it was a big save at the time. You got to get lucky sometimes. It was good."

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.28.2013 / 3:54 PM

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

Title defense hangs in balance for Kings in Game 7

LOS ANGELES -- During last season's Stanley Cup Playoffs, Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter veered from routine and held morning skates at Staples Center instead of the team's South Bay practice facility. He wanted his team to get a feel for a "big-game day."

Though the Kings played in many high-intensity games on the way to the Stanley Cup last spring, they never had to play a game facing elimination. In that respect, Sutter will get what he wished for Tuesday night in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinal series against the San Jose Sharks at Staples Center (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, RDS, TSN).

"This is for a chance for us to defend what we have," Kings forward Justin Williams said. "There's certainly butterflies. There's everything that you can imagine. Every play's magnified and every play will be magnified, and you don't want your last game to end on a loss. You want to have good memories of the way you played in your final game.

"[The Cup run] came as a surprise last year. But this year there's a big target. There's a sense of satisfaction if someone knocks off the defending Stanley Cup champs. We don't want that to happen."

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Posted On Monday, 05.27.2013 / 6:28 PM

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

Kings confident heading into Game 7 vs. Sharks

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Anze Kopitar never has played a Game 7 in the NHL. He's among a group of young Los Angeles Kings who developed in the organization long after the franchise's prior Game 7, back in 2002.

But Kopitar played many Game 7s in his head when he grew up in Slovenia and dreamed of a stage like Tuesday, when the Kings will play the San Jose Sharks in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals at Staples Center (9 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

"I got blood under my skin just like a Canadian," Kopitar said Monday. "I don't think it's any different over in Europe either. Everybody wants to be in these types of games, and you want to raise the level of play and eventually you want to be the hero in these types of games. It's going to take a great effort [Tuesday], and we're looking forward to it."

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Posted On Saturday, 05.25.2013 / 6:14 PM

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

Kings hope to end road woes at Shark Tank

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – There are few secrets to unearth by the time a series gets to Game 6. All the storylines have played out and it’s one or two plays that make the difference.

But the Los Angeles Kings have not been able to make that play go their way at HP Pavilion for quite some time. They last won there against the San Jose Sharks in Game 5 of the 2011 Western Conference Quarterfinal series, which they lost. Including the Stanley Cup Playoffs, L.A. is 0-4-3 in its past seven games in San Jose.

Captain Dustin Brown and teammates intend to change that and close out the semifinals against the Sharks in Game 6 on Sunday night.

“We’re preparing to go up there and win,” Brown said. “We don’t want to go up there and steal a game. We want to go up there and win a game. Your game plan doesn’t change, it’s just a mentality to go into a tough building and get the job done. There’s a difference between knowing you’re going to win and hoping you’re going to win and we got to go up there knowing we’re to win.”


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Quote of the Day

There was a lot of talk off the ice. From a player's standpoint, that's not the talk in the room. GMs make decisions, coaches make decisions, but as a team you have to come together and be ready to go, and we are.

— San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels on his team's approach entering training camp