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Posted On Thursday, 03.13.2014 / 3:27 PM

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

Kings prepare to face ex-teammate Bernier

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Kings used to have the luxury of a legitimate No.1 goalie as a backup to Jonathan Quick. On Thursday night, they will see that goalie at the other end of the ice.

Jonathan Bernier is expected to make his first appearance at Staples Center since he was traded from the Kings to the Toronto Maple Leafs last summer.

"I think anytime you play a team that you previously played for -- I never experienced it, but the type of environment coming back [is intense]," Kings captain Dustin Brown said. "The best example is probably [Robyn Regehr returning to Calgary] a couple of weeks ago. It's always extra motivation for those guys."

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Posted On Monday, 03.10.2014 / 4:17 PM

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

Maple Leafs' Holland gets first crack at facing Ducks

ANAHEIM -- The Anaheim Ducks couldn't wait any longer for Peter Holland to grab hold of a center position in their lineup. Now they will get an up-close look how he has progressed.

Holland will play Anaheim on Monday night at Honda Center for the first time since the Ducks traded him to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov. 16. He was the 15th pick in the 2009 NHL Draft, but Holland couldn't carve out a spot in Anaheim's lineup after numerous training camps to prove he belonged there.

The Ducks were also deep at center, which didn't help, but Holland understands and looks forward to the game.

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Posted On Friday, 03.07.2014 / 3:06 PM

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

Ducks' Getzlaf ready for rare visit by Crosby, Penguins

ANAHEIM -- Ryan Getzlaf smiled because he knew the questions were coming about playing against Sidney Crosby, his teammate with Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins will make a rare appearance at Honda Center on Friday to face Getzlaf's Anaheim Ducks. Crosby has come here three times previously, but not since 2010.

So what about facing that Crosby kid?

"How did I know that question was coming?" Getzlaf said. "Any time we're playing an opponent from the East we want to send a message that we can compete in both [conferences]. I think that Sid and the Penguins bring a big test in our building and we're excited about it, for sure."

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Posted On Wednesday, 03.05.2014 / 4:43 PM

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

Tokarski gets call in goal for Canadiens vs. Ducks

ANAHEIM -- A huge scrum surrounded Montreal Canadiens goalie Dustin Tokarski at his locker before a media relations official announced that he wouldn't be speaking.

It was quite a surprise that Montreal will give Tokarski his first start as a Canadien, and eighth of his career, Wednesday against the Anaheim Ducks. But Peter Budaj started the previous four games and Montreal plays the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday.

"We ask a lot of Peter Budaj," Montreal coach Michel Therrien said. "We play and we're traveling – a lot of hockey in a short period of time. We've got back-to-back. We figure that was the right time to put the kid there. What I'm expecting [is] that [our] players [are] going to play a hard-nosed team because we play the Ducks tonight. This is the best team in the League, and [we need] to make sure they give a good effort for the young kid in net tonight."

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Posted On Monday, 03.03.2014 / 3:28 PM

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

Kings prepared to stand pat at deadline

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- All players were in attendance at the Los Angeles Kings' morning skate Monday, meaning it didn't appear any were about to move before the NHL Trade Deadline on Wednesday.

L.A. has righted itself lately and will take a three-game winning streak into Monday night against the Montreal Canadiens. Justin Williams echoed Anze Kopitar's reported sentiment that the Kings don't feel a drastic change should be made before deadline.

The Kings lost eight of 10 before the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but their restart has allayed some of the concerns about a lack of scoring.

"Throughout that downturn we had, we had a lot of discussion within our group, in our room, and I think that just comes with the trust that we have with each other that we're going to get it done," Williams said. "We don't give up on anybody for having a tough little stretch if things aren't going well. We know when push comes to shove … we know we're going to get it done."

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Posted On Friday, 02.28.2014 / 3:59 PM

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

Ducks eager to hit ice; Bonino, Fistric likely in lineup

ANAHEIM -- The Anaheim Ducks are the last NHL team to return to action after the break for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and that makes coach Bruce Boudreau a little uneasy.

Anaheim gets back into it Friday against the St. Louis Blues in a matchup of the top two teams in the Western Conference. The Blues have played a game, but this will be Anaheim's first since Feb. 8.

"We're a little anxious," said Boudreau, one win shy of becoming the fastest coach to 300 wins in modern-day NHL history. "We're the only team that hasn't played a game yet. I don't know if that's good or bad … seeing a lot of teams playing their first game back. But we're certainly ready to get back into it."

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Posted On Thursday, 02.06.2014 / 3:24 PM

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

Kings hoping to finish strong before Olympic break

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. --  The Los Angeles Kings are down to one game before the hiatus for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and going out on a high note won't be easy.

The Kings on Thursday play the Columbus Blue Jackets, who have won 11 of 14 games and vaulted back into contention for a Stanley Cup Playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Los Angeles is 1-8-1 in its past 10 games and finally saw the consequences when the Minnesota Wild leapfrogged them for sixth place in the Western Conference.

"It's points that we need and we haven't been getting enough of them lately," Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell said. "Against a good team at home that's playing well, I think the main thing is we need the points."
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Posted On Wednesday, 02.05.2014 / 2:57 PM

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

Ducks recall Etem for key game against Blackhawks

ANAHEIM -- Welcome back, Emerson Etem. Now go play the Chicago Blackhawks.

Etem was recalled in time to join the Anaheim Ducks for a game against Chicago on Wednesday at Honda Center. It will be his first NHL game since Dec. 9. Etem was re-assigned after that partly because the Ducks wanted to see more consistency and partly because their lineup is difficult to crack.

"I think as a young guy you just need to understand the situation," Etem said. "We got a lot of depth up here. I think that all the guys that are regulars on this roster deserve to be here. For me, being a young guy I just try to keep my mouth shut, bury my head and work hard. Whatever they tell me to do I'm willing to do. I take pride in being a hometown guy and putting on the Ducks sweater every time I get the opportunity. It's a huge opportunity for me [Wednesday]."

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Posted On Monday, 02.03.2014 / 2:52 PM

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

Kings switch defensive pairs for Blackhawks

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Not much else has worked in generating offense for the Los Angeles Kings, so why not a change on the blue line?

It appears coach Darryl Sutter will tweak his defensive pairings when the Kings host the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday (10 p.m. ET, NHLN-CA) at Staples Center. Drew Doughty played with Willie Mitchell while Jake Muzzin was with Matt Greene in the morning skate.

"Drew's playing a lot of minutes and he needs a little bit more stability in his own zone from his partner," Sutter said.

Muzzin and Greene have played together earlier this season and in the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season, but it has been a while since Doughty has played with Mitchell.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.28.2014 / 3:42 PM

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

Ducks' Sbisa hoping to make instant impact

ANAHEIM -- One look at the game log for Anaheim Ducks defenseman Luca Sbisa says that it hasn't been a memorable season so far. He sprained his ankle during a preseason game, came back for nine games and then tore a tendon in his right hand in a fight Nov. 22.

"If you look back at how the year's going so far, to be honest, it's been terrible," Sbisa said. "It's definitely not the way I pictured the year going. But things like this happen. There's still a lot of games left and hopefully a lot of playoff games left, and I think I can show up and play well and really help the team out."

Sbisa will be back in the Ducks lineup when they host the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday. Sbisa has been a part of Anaheim's banged-up defense, along with Sheldon Souray, but the team hasn't missed a beat thanks to the emergence of rookie Hampus Lindholm and veteran Mark Fistric.


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I've got a lot of experience and there's a lot of young guys. It's even making me excited a little more. It's kind of a new life. At my age, I feel like I know a lot of things what to do, but I just cannot do it anymore. It's a lot easier to tell them what to do because they've still got the legs and hands to do it. I just know things, but I cannot do them anymore.

— Jaromir Jagr after making his Panthers debut in a win against the Sabres on Saturday
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