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Posted On Saturday, 05.24.2014 / 2:28 PM

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

Kings hope to improve playoff home record

LOS ANGELES – During their run to the 2013 Western Conference Final, the Los Angeles Kings were able to find refuge at Staples Center. They won their first eight games at home during those Stanley Cup Playoffs, including elimination games against the St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks.

This season has been different, however, for a team that has won eight playoff series in the past three seasons. The Kings are 3-3 at Staples Center in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, a mediocre home record they will try to improve when the Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks shifts to Los Angeles with Game 3 on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

The best-of-7 series is tied 1-1.

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Posted On Thursday, 05.22.2014 / 4:55 PM

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

Kings defenseman Regehr battling knee injury

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr has a knee injury, coach Darryl Sutter said Thursday.

Sutter revealed the injury on the first off day after Game 2 of the Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks; tt was previously undisclosed. Regehr has been out since May 3, when he was hit by Anaheim Ducks right wing Teemu Selanne against the end boards in Game 1 of the Western Conference Second Round.

Asked if Regehr was cleared to skate, Sutter said, "Robyn's not skating. When Robyn's ready to skate, he'll skate. It's a knee injury, and obviously he'll make that decision. If he could play on one leg, he would. He showed it last year in the playoffs … if there's a way to skate, he'd be playing."

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Posted On Saturday, 05.17.2014 / 3:52 PM

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

Kings all business as they head for Chicago

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Fewer than 40 hours will have elapsed from when the Los Angeles Kings eliminated the Anaheim Ducks in Game 7 to the puck drop against the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Final.

That didn't stop the Kings from conducting a morning skate at their practice facility Saturday, using whatever adrenaline was left over from their second-round series win Friday night before they boarded a plane for Chicago. Game 1 is Sunday at United Center (3 p.m. ET; NBC, TSN, RDS).

"I think you just have to reset quickly," Kings center Jarret Stoll said. "You have no other choice, no other option. We're excited. We got a little extra added energy [Friday] night after that win. The boys were coming in this morning, and the tunes were going and it was a happy room in here. We're looking forward to getting on the plane and heading into Chicago and preparing for a Game 1 win. It's been our whole mindset with this group the whole way through, going into tough buildings and winning and battling it out."

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Posted On Friday, 05.16.2014 / 2:44 PM

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

Ducks shuffle lines for Game 7 against Kings

ANAHEIM -- Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau is known for frequently tweaking his line combinations, and it appears he will try another twist, at least to start Game 7 of the Western Conference Second Round against the Los Angeles Kings on Friday at Honda Center (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

Left wing Daniel Winnik skated on the third line with center Mathieu Perreault and Teemu Selanne at the morning skate. Left wing Patrick Maroon usually has been with Perreault and Selanne, and the trio thrived earlier in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but Maroon skated on the fourth line with center Nick Bonino and right wing Kyle Palmieri.

Winnik said he's played with Perreault and Selanne about two or three times all season. It could last a shift or two, but Boudreau pointed out that Maroon, Bonino and Palmieri were a good line for the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League.

"They've had moments up here that have been very good," Boudreau said. "So [I'm] just trying to create a little bit of chemistry. I think, one [Winnik is] a better skater than [Maroon] and might be able to be a little bit better defensively on that line."

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Posted On Thursday, 05.15.2014 / 2:24 AM

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

Ducks' Gibson on Lewis goal: 'It happens'

LOS ANGELES -- Anaheim Ducks rookie goalie John Gibson isn't known for being overly talkative, and he was certainly concise when asked about the first bad goal of his Stanley Cup Playoffs career.

With Anaheim trailing 1-0 in the second period of Game 6 of this Western Conference Second Round series, Los Angeles Kings forward Trevor Lewis skated down left wing and wristed a harmless, low shot that beat Gibson under the pads at 14:04.

The Kings won 2-1 to force Game 7 on Friday at Honda Center (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

Gibson recovered after what could have been a confidence-blowing goal. Asked about resetting after the goal, Gibson said, "Yeah, it was just one shot. Missed it. It happens."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.14.2014 / 3:39 PM

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

Vatanen providing Ducks with spark from blue line

LOS ANGELES -- Anaheim Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen saw his hockey cards come to life when he arrived in Anaheim. There across the dressing room were his Finnish idols, right wing Teemu Selanne and center Saku Koivu. Vatanen collected Selanne's card growing up in Finland.

"Of course it was a special moment for me," Vatanen said. "I saw those guys, who I've been watching all my young life, and try to learn from them. It was fun. They're good guys and I like to hang out with them. It's pretty special."

Selanne, an avid car collector, gave Vatanen a Mercedes-Benz to drive around town. On the ice, he and Koivu helped Vatanen assimilate to the Ducks.

"Every day when I got here, I didn't understand what the coaches were saying," Vatanen said. "I got to ask them and speak my own language."

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.13.2014 / 7:35 PM

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

Ducks aim to extend season for Koivu, Selanne

ANAHEIM -- There's no denying the excitement that the young core of the Anaheim Ducks has generated the past few days. Between rookie goalie John Gibson, left wing Devante Smith-Pelly and defenseman Sami Vatanen, the future looks very bright.

But the time is now for veteran forwards Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu, who acknowledged Tuesday what it would mean to eliminate the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference Second Round. Anaheim leads the best-of-7 series 3-2 and can close it out in Game 6 on Wednesday at Staples Center (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).


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Posted On Monday, 05.12.2014 / 9:57 PM

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

Nolan in, Clifford out for Kings in Game 5

ANAHEIM -- Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter didn't hint at any line adjustments Monday morning, but it appears he will change them up against the Anaheim Ducks for Game 5 of the Western Conference Second Round series at Honda Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

Kings captain Dustin Brown skated with center Anze Kopitar and forward Marian Gaborik in warm-ups. It also appears that forward Jordan Nolan will be in the Los Angeles lineup in favor of Kyle Clifford and play on the fourth line with center Mike Richards and forward Dwight King.


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Posted On Monday, 05.12.2014 / 4:23 PM

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

Ducks' Perreault relieved to get back in lineup

ANAHEIM -- Anaheim Ducks center Mathieu Perreault is expected to return to the lineup for Game 5 of the Western Conference Second Round series against the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night at Honda Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS). The best-of-7 series is tied 2-2.

Perreault missed Game 4 with a lower-body injury, but he said it pained him more to have to watch the game.

"It is so hard," Perreault said. "It gets me so nervous. When you play, it's not quite like that, but when you're watching, I can't sit down. I start walking around because I get so nervous. I'd rather be out there playing than watching, that's for sure."

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Posted On Sunday, 05.11.2014 / 5:41 PM

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

Kings shrug off Game 4 loss to Ducks, Gibson

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Kings met earlier than usual for an off day Sunday morning, but it was not a back-to-the-drawing-board session. The Kings were the better team for most of a 2-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks in Game 4 of the Western Conference Second Round.

That's probably why coach Darryl Sutter was at his sarcastic best in making a reference to the television show "M*A*S*H" when asked if the Kings are rattled by playing well and losing.

"Yeah, I'm not rattled," Sutter said. "I'm just thankful I'm alive. I'm fortunate to pull through after a devastating loss last night. Radar and Hawkeye had to get me up to come here today."

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Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres