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Posted On Monday, 03.03.2014 / 3:28 PM

By Curtis Zupke - Correspondent / - 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."

Posted On Friday, 02.28.2014 / 3:59 PM

By Curtis Zupke - Correspondent / - 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."

Posted On Thursday, 02.06.2014 / 3:24 PM

By Curtis Zupke - Correspondent / - 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."
Posted On Wednesday, 02.05.2014 / 2:57 PM

By Curtis Zupke - Correspondent / - 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]."

Posted On Monday, 02.03.2014 / 2:52 PM

By Curtis Zupke - Correspondent / - 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.

Posted On Tuesday, 01.28.2014 / 3:42 PM

By Curtis Zupke - Correspondent / - 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.

Posted On Thursday, 01.23.2014 / 2:58 PM

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

Ducks like physical presence of Maroon vs. Kings

ANAHEIM -- The Anaheim Ducks aren't lacking for big power forwards in their lineup but it certainly helps that Patrick Maroon is grabbing a hold of his role in time to play the Los Angeles Kings.

The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Maroon brings a wrecking-ball presence, along with a scoring touch, and it will be needed when Anaheim hosts the Kings at Honda Center on Thursday (10 p.m. ET, NHLN-US), the last time they'll meet until their game Saturday at Dodger Stadium in the opener of the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series.

Maroon has played with Mathieu Perreault and Teemu Selanne and also taken turns on the Ducks' top line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.

"He's been doing a real good job," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I have to say in the last four or five games he might be our best forward."

Posted On Wednesday, 01.15.2014 / 3:20 PM

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

Ducks' Hiller could be sidelined by flu

ANAHEIM -- Jonas Hiller's record winning streak might have to be put on hold.

Hiller will be a game-time decision Wednesday against the Vancouver Canucks because of illness, Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said after his team's morning skate.

"He wasn't feeling good this morning so we said, 'Stay home,'" Boudreau said. "It'll be a game-time decision. We'll know this afternoon whether he's still feeling flu-ish or if he feels fine to go."

Asked if he's checking in on Hiller every hour, Boudreau said, "Probably every half-hour."

Hiller tied four others Sunday for the second-longest winning streak in NHL history with his 14th consecutive victory. The last goalie to win 14 in a row was Tom Barrasso of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992-93. Gilles Gilbert of the Boston Bruins won 17 straight in 1975-76.

If Hiller isn't available, Anaheim has Frederik Andersen and rookie John Gibson to go with.

Posted On Sunday, 01.12.2014 / 7:48 PM

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

Ducks' Getzlaf scratched with lower-body injury

ANAHEIM -- Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf was scratched from the game Sunday night against the Detroit Red Wings at Honda Center and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, the Ducks announced.

Getzlaf took a shot off his foot in the second period Saturday night against the Phoenix Coyotes and did not return for the third period. Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said at the time that it was precautionary. Anaheim won, 5-3.

Getzlaf is having a Hart Trophy-like season and is the NHL's fourth-leading scorer with 23 goals and 30 assists in 44 games. He was selected to play for Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Posted On Saturday, 01.11.2014 / 4:19 PM

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

Kings' Richards looking to regain scoring touch

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – His Los Angeles Kings are still in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race but Mike Richards admits he's had better winters.

Richards is on a 20-game goalless streak dating back to his last goal Nov.25 and he has one goal in his past 28 games going into Saturday night against the Detroit Red Wings. Coach Darryl Sutter broke up Richards and Jeff Carter in early December and Richards has played with a host of different wings, including Kyle Clifford, Matt Frattin and Trevor Lewis. Tyler Toffoli has assumed the right wing spot for several games, though.

Goals have been particularly difficult to come by lately as Richards has no shots on goal in his past two games. Something the forward credits to simply not being aggressive.

"It's been frustrating," Richards said. "But I'm not a natural goal scorer as Jeff would be. I have to kind of earn what I get. I have to stop looking for the pass-first mentality that I usually come with and try to get pucks to the net more. I don't use it very often, but I have a decent shot, so I think I have to get back to trying to shoot more instead of trying to pick your targets."

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Quote of the Day

We don't know how long Carey will be out, but for us, it's business as usual.

— Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien on goaltender Carey Price, who is on injured reserve with a lower-body injury
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