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Stanley Cup Final
Posted On Friday, 11.22.2013 / 3:26 PM

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

Jackman looking to add physicality in Ducks' debut

ANAHEIM -- The Anaheim Ducks will try to end their five-game winless streak with some added grit in their lineup.

Right wing Tim Jackman is expected to make his Ducks debut Friday against the Tampa Bay Lightning after he was traded to Anaheim from the Calgary Flames. Jackman skated on a line with Matt Beleskey and Daniel Winnik at the morning skate.

Jackman said the writing was on the wall when his playing time was reduced in Calgary. He briefly spoke with coach Bruce Boudreau in the morning about his role.

"He told me he wants me to play hard, play physical," Jackman said. "But be smart. Be a good hockey player. Don't be running around. Because the last time we played here earlier with Calgary I got kicked out of the game [for butt-ending]. My emotions got the best of me."

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Posted On Thursday, 11.21.2013 / 3:06 PM

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

Kings' Doughty again providing two-way excellence

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Drew Doughty didn't have to think long to pinpoint when and where he really got motivated him to elevate his game.

Amped up for a matchup against Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning on Oct. 15, Doughty was a minus-4 in a 5-1 loss that night.

"My last bad game I can recall was Tampa Bay in Tampa Bay," Doughty said Thursday before his Los Angeles Kings played the New Jersey Devils at Staples Center.

"I was really [upset] at myself. That was a big game for me: me against Stamkos. I wanted to shut him down and not let him get anything, and then he lit me up. I really made sure that after that game I was going to do something about it, and I think I've played at both ends of the ice."

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Posted On Wednesday, 11.20.2013 / 3:44 PM

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

Devils' Jagr faces Ducks' Selanne in battle of legends

ANAHEIM -- Teemu Selanne usually downplays the numbers that are next to his name, including the 43 next to his age. But he'll play along for special occasions such as Wednesday, when the Anaheim Ducks will have a rare matchup with 41-year-old Jaromir Jagr of the New Jersey Devils.

The two are the oldest active players in the NHL.

"It's awesome," Selanne said. "It's great to see, especially when the old guys doing well. I've played against Jagr since I was 17, so [we've had] lot of good years together. It's always been nice competing against him. It's very special."

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 4:38 PM

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

Lightning's St. Louis reflective as he hits 1,000 games

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Fifteen years ago Martin St. Louis was in Japan for his first NHL game, and he felt just as unfamiliar on the ice as he did off it.

Then with the Calgary Flames for season-opening overseas games against the San Jose Sharks, St. Louis took the ice at small Yoyogi Arena on Oct. 9, 1998. His teammates included Theo Fleury, Phil Housley and Jarome Iginla.

"I remember walking away from my first game thinking I could have done more," St. Louis said. "I was still a fan. I was impressed by the players I was playing with and against. Once I stopped being a fan, it helped my game."

Fast forward to Tuesday night, when many will be in awe at St. Louis, 38, who will play his 1,000th game when his Tampa Bay Lightning plays the Los Angeles Kings. It has been a remarkable run for St. Louis, who has missed only seven games in the past 10 years. Fewer than 300 players have reached the milestone.


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Posted On Saturday, 11.09.2013 / 3:04 PM

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

Martinez hopes to stay in Kings lineup

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- It's not the way Alec Martinez wanted to get back into the Los Angeles Kings lineup, but he's trying to make the most of his opportunity.

Los Angeles went down to six available defensemen when Matt Greene sustained an undisclosed injury, so the Kings had little choice but to insert Martinez back in the lineup. After he was scratched for the previous seven games, Martinez played Thursday and will be back in Saturday night when L.A. hosts the Vancouver Canucks.

"Obviously it's unfortunate that we've got other guys getting hurt but I think we've got a lot of depth in this room and injuries are going to happen," Martinez said. "You need to be able to rely on those players when it does happen. I'm just trying to play my game and help the team win."

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Posted On Friday, 11.08.2013 / 3:11 PM

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

Ducks to go with Andersen in goal

ANAHEIM -- Depth at goalie for the Anaheim Ducks has worked out so well that backup Frederik Andersen is 4-0-0 without having started a game at home.

Logic would dictate that coach Bruce Boudreau would go back to Jonas Hiller after a win, but Andersen will get his first home start Friday against the Buffalo Sabres. Andersen was recalled from the American Hockey League when Viktor Fasth was injured, and his adjustment to the NHL has been smooth enough that Boudreau is comfortable going back to him.

"We play Vancouver on Sunday, which I want [Hiller] to play, so it seemed like a good spot for a goalie that's undeterred," Boudreau said. "What I mean by that is that there's no letdown I think in his mind because he's still trying to impress to be here."

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Posted On Thursday, 11.07.2013 / 4:02 PM

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

Kings' Vey to make NHL debut against Sabres

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Linden Vey's family lives too far for them to come to Los Angeles for an extended period of time. Vey is from Wakaw, Saskatchewan, with a population of about 1,000.

"Really small," Vey said. "Everybody knows everybody."

They will have to settle for seeing Vey on television for his NHL debut, as is expected when Vey and the Los Angeles Kings play the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday. Vey took line rushes at center on the fourth line while Colin Fraser stayed out for extra skating.

"You just got to think of it as just another hockey game," Vey said. "Obviously it's a little more than that. I've been playing ever since I was 4 years old and I'm looking forward to this. I think there will be a little bit of nerves the first shift, but once I get into it I'll be fine."


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Posted On Saturday, 11.02.2013 / 3:33 PM

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

Kings insert Toffoli for Carter; Vey could debut

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Tyler Toffoli was deep asleep when Los Angeles Kings general manager Dean Lombardi tried his cell phone Thursday night several times to give him and teammate Linden Vey the big news: They were being recalled from the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League because of an injury to Jeff Carter.

"I was taking a nap and I turned over and I had like six missed calls," Toffoli said.

"I was confused. I had a 310 [area code] number [on my phone]. I didn't have his number on my phone. I didn't really know what to expect, and then once he picked us up [in the car], we were just trying to go through our heads and see what we did wrong for Dean have this meeting with us. Fortunately, it was a good meeting."

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.30.2013 / 3:51 PM

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

Sharks' Havlat to make season debut

LOS ANGELES -- The San Jose Sharks hardly needed more offensive firepower, but right wing Marty Havlat will make his season debut Wednesday in a big divisional game against the Los Angeles Kings.

Havlat is recovered from pelvic surgery in June and it will be his first game since Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals, also against the Kings, on May 18. He will step onto the third line with Joe Pavelski and Tommy Wingels. Havlat isn't sure what to expect but he's anxious to get back in.

"I haven't played a game in six months," he said. "It's been a long time. It feels good to be back on the ice with the guys. We'll see how it goes."

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Posted On Thursday, 10.24.2013 / 2:58 PM

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

Kings juggle lines, split Brown and Kopitar

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter doesn't mix his lines as much as other coaches, but he does it at predictable times.

Los Angeles is coming off a rare home loss in which it allowed three power-play goals and enters its game Thursday against the Phoenix Coyotes having been shorthanded 43 times, third-most in the NHL. Home-ice dominance and penalty killing are staples of the Kings' game, so it wasn't surprising that Sutter shook things up.

"We've seen it before so it's not really a big deal," Kings center Anze Kopitar said. "But I guess it brings a little bit of attention to everybody."

Sutter separated Kopitar and captain Dustin Brown, who was moved to the third line with Jarret Stoll and Trevor Lewis. Mike Richards appears to be getting a look at left wing with Jeff Carter at center and Matt Frattin on the right side. Carter takes a lot of faceoffs anyway, while the Richards-Frattin swap is yet another admission that L.A. desperately needs left-wing scoring.


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Quote of the Day

You know what? We've played in some pretty special buildings along this playoff run so far. You start in Detroit, you go to Montreal, you come here … I think it's the first team to beat three Original Six teams to get to the Final if I'm not mistaken. That says how tough the road has been. Those are tough places to win.

— Lightning forward Steven Stamkos after Game 7 win vs. Rangers on Friday in New York