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Posted On Monday, 03.11.2013 / 2:56 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Call-up by Kings a thrill for Toffoli

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Tyler Toffoli still looked like he was riding high when he came off the ice at the Los Angeles Kings' morning skate.

Toffoli got the call Sunday to join the defending Stanley Cup champions. His next National Hockey League game will be the first for Toffoli, a baby-faced center who turns 21 next month.

"I was pretty tired, so I tried to sleep, but I so was excited I couldn't really sleep [on the plane]," Toffoli said. "I just watched a movie that was playing -- "Silver Linings Playbook." I wasn't really thinking about it a whole lot. I'm just excited to get the opportunity to come here."


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Posted On Saturday, 03.09.2013 / 2:56 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Sutter standing behind goaltender Quick

EL SEGUNDO, Calif.Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter continued Saturday to stand behind his star goaltender.

Jonathan Quick allowed four goals in a loss Thursday against the Dallas Stars, but Sutter liked what he saw from Quick when the netminder relieved Jonathan Bernier in a win Tuesday against the St. Louis Blues. Quick is expected to start Saturday when the Kings host the Calgary Flames at Staples Center.

Quick has not appeared as sharp as last season, posting a 7-7-2 record and 2.59 goals-against record. His backup, Bernier, is 5-1-0 with a 1.92 GAA.

“He’s got to get the swagger back,” Sutter said of Quick following his team's morning skate. “As well as Bernier’s played, the last guy that’s won us a game is Jonathan Quick. He came off the bench and won us a game. That’s character. That’s character in battle, so that’s a really good thing.”

The Kings held an optional skate but their lineup appears to be the same.

Here is their projected lineup against the Flames:

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Posted On Friday, 03.08.2013 / 3:48 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Flames, Ducks

ANAHEIM -- Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau mock-winced when asked about his team's profound dominance against the Calgary Flames.

Perhaps it was out of superstition, but Boudreau is aware of the history even though he only has been in Anaheim since 2011. The gist: Anaheim has won 15 straight at home against Calgary, which last won a regular-season game at Honda Center on Jan. 19, 2004.

That breaks down to an 0-10-5 record going into Friday's game. The past eight meetings have been decided by one goal, with two in overtime and three by shootout.

"Every game we play Calgary is a one-goal game, and [with] them finally getting above .500, I think this will be the toughest game of the bunch," Boudreau said.

Here's how the teams could line up Friday:

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Posted On Thursday, 03.07.2013 / 3:43 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Frustrated Doughty still in search of first goal

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Anybody who had Jake Muzzin with four goals and Drew Doughty with zero at the 21-game mark of the season should probably head to the nearest casino.

That's where it stands for Doughty, who is still searching for his first goal going into Thursday, when the Los Angeles Kings play the Dallas Stars.

"It's frustrating, obviously," the defenseman said. "It's in my head too often. I want to get that goal really bad. It's not that I'm cheating or doing anything different to try and get it. I'm still just playing my solid defensive game and if I have that opportunity, I'll try to put one in the net. Yeah, it's frustrating, but the coaches are happy with the way I'm playing. If I don't score a goal and we're winning, it really doesn't matter."

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Posted On Wednesday, 03.06.2013 / 3:52 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Ducks put Ryan back with Perry, Getzlaf

ANAHEIM -- The Anaheim Ducks did not do line rushes at their morning skate Wednesday, but coach Bruce Boudreau on Tuesday had Bobby Ryan back on a line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.

Boudreau has used Matt Beleskey, Kyle Palmieri, Daniel Winnik and Emerson Etem in that top-line left-wing spot in what has been a myriad of combinations on almost all four lines.

"We've got to kind of be prepared for everything and he made us well aware of that going into the season," Getzlaf said. "Bruce is a communicator. He lets us know on everything that's going on and he doesn't like to keep things one general way."

Ryan obviously is more than familiar with Getzlaf and Perry considering they formed one of the most potent lines in the League the past few seasons.

"By now we've played with everybody," Getzlaf said. "Generally we play a puck-possession game, so everybody who steps on our line knows that. They've got to come in and work, and we've got to try and work with them."

Here is how the Ducks and Phoenix Coyotes could match up when they meet Wednesday:

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Posted On Wednesday, 03.06.2013 / 3:46 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Vrbata could be back for Ducks-Coyotes III

ANAHEIM -- Will the Phoenix Coyotes bring back one of their best offensive pieces to add a twist to the third installment of their trilogy with the Anaheim Ducks?

Coach Dave Tippett said Wednesday that forward Radim Vrbata is close to returning from an upper-body injury that has kept him out since Feb. 16.

"We'll see how things go there," Tippett said. "Vrbata is close. Whether he plays or not, I'm not sure."

What is certain is that the first two games of the unusual three-game series have been Twilight Zone-like similar. Phoenix won both games 5-4 in a shootout, and the eight goals in regulation were scored in the exact same sequence as Anaheim blew leads of 1-0, 3-2 and 4-3.

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.05.2013 / 3:58 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Blues insert Cole back in lineup, look at Arnott

LOS ANGELES -- St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock knows full well what's in store when he plays the Los Angeles Kings: a lot of big bodies flying around.

That's largely why Hitchcock will insert Ian Cole back on defense when St. Louis plays L.A. on Tuesday night. The 6-foot-1, 219-pound Cole will be needed against some of the Kings' big forwards such as Jeff Carter and Dustin Brown.

"The opponent dictates that," Hitchcock said. "They've got a big lineup and Ian's played OK against them. ... I think just from getting bounced around standpoint, when you play L.A. you're going to get bounced around. You've just got to fight through it.

"They're a big team, but they're a big, smart team. I mean, there's a difference. There's lots of big teams in the League, but they're a big, smart team, which I think makes a big difference."

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Posted On Friday, 03.01.2013 / 3:04 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Ducks' Souray likely to rest, while Sbisa returns

ANAHEIM -- Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau could give defenseman Sheldon Souray a day off when the Ducks host the Minnesota Wild on Friday.

Boudreau earlier this season suggested he would give veteran blueliners Souray and Toni Lydman days off during back-to-back sequences; Anaheim plays at the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday.

Souray did not take all of his turns with usual partner Francois Beauchemin at the morning skate, and Ben Lovejoy came off with the regulars. Asked if this might be an occasion to rest 36-year-old Souray, Boudreau said, "It might. I've got to talk to him. But somewhere during this month there's going to be days off for him."

Boudreau said he looks at Souray differently due to Souray's history of injuries.

"You look at him, how his season went last year, you look at him that he is an older player, how many minutes he plays -- all of these things you want to take into account," Boudreau said.

"There's a lot of reasons why you want to keep a guy like him fresh because he's done great for us.”

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Posted On Wednesday, 02.27.2013 / 2:55 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Kings get chance to exact revenge vs. Red Wings

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- If a loss can be used as a starting point for a team, the Los Angeles Kings can point directly to their Feb. 10 game against the Detroit Red Wings.

Although they gave up the game-winning goal with five seconds remaining, the Kings played their best game to that point and have since won six of seven, allowing seven total goals in that span. They come full circle Wednesday night when Detroit comes to Staples Center.

What changed in that Feb. 10 game? Jarret Stoll said the Kings got back to better puck movement.

“Whether it’s a 5-, 6-, 8-foot pass to score, moving the puck up the ice is really key instead of having the sloppy pass or the sloppy bobbled puck, and then you’re in one in your own zone,” Stoll said. “A team like Detroit – they can sense that, they can feel that. They’re smart at that. We’ve got to make sure we’re sharp moving the puck, supporting each other.”

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Posted On Monday, 02.25.2013 / 3:42 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Kings look to deny Fasth a record-tying win

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The puns have already been run into the ground: Quick vs. Fasth. But it’s an intriguing matchup regardless of playful headlines.

Jonathan Quick is expected to square off against counterpart Viktor Fasth when the Los Angeles Kings host the rival Anaheim Ducks on Monday night at Staples Center.

It will be the Kings' first look at Fasth, who at 8-0-0 is trying to match Ray Emery in 2005 for the longest winning streak to start an NHL career. The Ducks beat the Kings, 7-4, in a wild affair Feb. 2, and Jonas Hiller was in net for Anaheim.

For the Kings, there is some unknown element to Fasth outside of game film.

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Quote of the Day

I have been blessed to play for 16 years in the NHL; it has been an amazing ride. I would like to thank the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers organizations and owners for providing me the opportunity to play the sport I love for so many years. I could have never played for so long or accomplished all that I have without the unwavering love and support from my wife, Heather, our three sons, Ryan, Lucas, and Mason, and my parents.

— Martin St. Louis after announcing his retirement from the NHL on Thursday