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Round 2
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Stanley Cup Final
POSTED ON Monday, 12.09.2013 / 3:49 PM

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

Islanders place Bouchard on waivers

ANAHEIM -- The New York Islanders are stuck in a nine-game winless skid (0-7-2) and have lost a team-record nine straight on the road. So it certainly got their attention when three-time 50-point scorer Pierre-Marc Bouchard was placed on waivers Monday.

"When you lose as many as we have in a row, I think it's the business we're in," Thomas Vanek said. "Obviously there's a lot of good guys here but sometimes you have to make tough decisions. [Bouchard] was a good guy. I only got to know him for a little bit here. It's definitely not his fault that he's gone. I think it's more ours. I think anytime someone leaves it's on the team."

Islanders coach Jack Capuano wouldn't comment on personnel matters. New York reportedly is making room to recall center Ryan Strome, the leading scorer in the American Hockey League. Strome on Monday became the third player in the past 20 years to be named the AHL's player of the week in consecutive weeks.

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POSTED ON Saturday, 12.07.2013 / 4:06 PM

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

Goaltender Jones could get another start for Kings

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Was the impressive NHL debut of goalie Martin Jones enough to earn him another start for the Los Angeles Kings?

It was difficult to tell if Jones would be back in goal Saturday night, when the Kings play the New York Islanders. Jones left the ice first at the morning skate, but usual starter Ben Scrivens wasn't far behind. Kings coach Darryl Sutter doesn't reveal his starting goalie, so it was anybody's guess.

Thrown into a rivalry game against an Anaheim Ducks team that hasn't lost in regulation on home ice, Jones made 26 saves and stopped all nine shooters in a 3-2 shootout win Tuesday in his first NHL game.

Scrivens has gone 6-1-3 in place of injured Jonathan Quick (groin). The first win of that stretch came against the Islanders on Nov. 14. Sutter has lately been stingy with the praise of Scrivens and said he's seen cracks in his game.

"I think he's been off and on lately," Sutter said. "To be able to win on a consistent basis and play at a high level is not just the physical, it's the mental part of it, and when you're not used to doing it, it trickles into your game."

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 12.03.2013 / 3:38 PM

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

Ducks' Allen game-time decision against Kings

ANAHEIM -- The Anaheim Ducks could use all the big bodies they have against the Los Angeles Kings, and they might not have one of their biggest on the blue line Tuesday night.

Defenseman Bryan Allen did not skate in the morning, although coach Bruce Boudreau said Allen remains a game-time decision with a lower-body injury.

"He'll take warm-up, and we'll see," Boudreau said.

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POSTED ON Saturday, 11.23.2013 / 2:49 PM

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

Youthful trio enjoying time with Kings

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – For a few shifts it was like old times for Tyler Toffoli, Tanner Pearson and Linden Vey. The three have formed the top line for the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League at times this season, and Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter put them together briefly Wednesday.

Toffoli has made a case to stay with four points and four assists with a plus-5 rating in nine games, but Pearson and Vey's time appear to be winding down with Jeff Carter and Kyle Clifford nearing a return. Carter skated with the team for a second straight day Saturday, before the Kings played the Colorado Avalanche, and Clifford (upper body) told reporters he has been medically cleared.

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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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For me, it's a great win for our hockey team and for a lot of people back in Columbus, especially our fans in particular … people who have been devoted to this organization, it's big.

— Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards on their win vs. the Penguins in Game 2, the franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup Playoff victory