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Posted On Friday, 02.27.2015 / 3:32 PM

By Curtis Zupke - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Kings at Ducks

ANAHEIM -- Los Angeles Kings defenseman Andrej Sekera has little time to get to know his new teammates before being thrown into a big rivalry game, but he's ready for the challenge.

Sekera will make his Kings debut Friday against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center. The teams have developed a healthy disdain for each other since the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and it's usually a mixed fan base in Anaheim's building.

"I heard about it and I'm looking forward to it, it should be exciting," Sekera said.

Pressed more about what he's heard, Sekera said, "It's a rivalry game, with a full house."

Posted On Thursday, 02.26.2015 / 4:40 PM

By Curtis Zupke - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Senators at Kings

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Newly acquired defenseman Andrej Sekera wasn't able to participate in the Los Angeles Kings morning skate but he is expected to be available to make his Kings debut when they play the Ottawa Senators at Staples Center on Thursday.

Coach Darryl Sutter said they were waiting for Sekera to get medical clearance, and Sekera was not yet available to reporters. The move is seen as another shrewd pre-NHL Trade Deadline move by general manager Dean Lombardi, this time to get a skilled puck mover who can take some pressure off of defenseman Drew Doughty, who leads the NHL in average ice time (29:27).

"I think he's very mobile," Sutter said. "He's played a little bit both sides. He's familiar with some of our players. They know his character. He's a good addition."

Posted On Tuesday, 02.24.2015 / 3:49 PM

By Curtis Zupke - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Red Wings at Kings

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Detroit Red Wings left wing Henrik Zetterberg said Tuesday that he isn't sure when he can return from an upper-body injury. He will miss his second straight game when Detroit plays the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center.

Zetterberg left the game last Saturday after he was punched in the head by Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars. He said he has headaches but didn't say he sustained a concussion.

Zetterberg is tied with Pavel Datsyuk for the Red Wings lead with 49 points.

"I have some symptoms that I don't have when I'm 100 percent," Zetterberg said. "Until those symptoms go away, we've just got to take it easy."

Posted On Monday, 02.23.2015 / 4:06 PM

By Curtis Zupke - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Red Wings at Ducks

ANAHEIM -- The Anaheim Ducks goalie situation further unfolded Monday, but John Gibson will make his sixth straight start when they play the Detroit Red Wings at Honda Center.

Frederik Andersen, the No. 1 goalie most of the season, remains out with a neck injury. Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said he thought later this week might be realistic for Andersen to return, but Andersen downplayed any kind of timetable. Andersen said he needs to get his conditioning back up to speed. He has been out since Feb. 8, when the goal apparatus fell on him.

"It's tough to say," Andersen said. "It's really a day-by-day thing. We can't really predict how I'm going to feel tomorrow or Wednesday. But yeah, for sure, I'd rather be out there sooner than that, but we can't predict the future."

Andersen said he wants to get himself right for the long run, specifically the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"If I look back on my career in 15 years, I don't think I'm going to be disappointed that I took another week or two, but it's about taking the right steps," he said.

Posted On Wednesday, 02.18.2015 / 10:04 PM

By Curtis Zupke - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

Ducks' Lindholm misses game with lower-body injury

ANAHEIM -- Anaheim Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm was scratched for the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday with what is believed to be a lower-body injury.

Lindholm, who forms the second defensive pairing with Francois Beauchemin and is tied for second among Ducks defensemen with 20 assists, did not skate Wednesday morning. Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said Lindholm would be a game-time decision. Lindholm missed the game against the Edmonton Oilers on Feb.10 because of a lower-body injury.

Posted On Wednesday, 02.18.2015 / 4:22 PM

By Curtis Zupke - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Lightning at Ducks

ANAHEIM -- The Anaheim Ducks are already without defenseman Sami Vatanen, and defenseman Hampus Lindholm might not be able to play Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Honda Center.

Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said Lindholm is a game-time decision. Lindholm did not take part in an optional practice. He was seen walking through the locker room moments before media availability ended. Lindholm missed the Feb. 10 game with a lower-body injury.

Vatanen is out 4-6 weeks with a leg injury from last Sunday, when he went into the boards awkwardly. He leads the Ducks with seven power-play goals and formed a pairing with defenseman Clayton Stoner. Defenseman Josh Manson was recalled Tuesday, along with left wing Emerson Etem.

Manson, 6-foot-3 and 217 pounds, acquitted himself well in an 18-game stint earlier this season. The Ducks went 11-3-4 with him in the lineup.

"You get that experience under your belt, and you know how fast the game is and how skilled the players are," Manson said. "So I'm not going in blind, but at the same time, I want to go in with that same mentality like it's my first game and I've got a lot to prove."

Posted On Monday, 02.16.2015 / 3:44 PM

By Curtis Zupke - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Lightning at Kings

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- For the fourth time in 13 days, the Los Angeles Kings will have to contain one of the NHL's most dangerous scorers when they play Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday at Staples Center.

The Kings held Stamkos, the League's fourth-leading scorer, to no points and two shots in a 4-2 win on Feb. 7. They also played NHL-leader Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals twice this month.

"I always enjoy playing other teams' top guys, especially when a guy like Ovechkin comes into town," said defenseman Drew Doughty, who was the No. 2 pick in the 2008 NHL Draft after Stamkos went No. 1 to the Lightning. "I thought we had pretty good battles both games we played against each other. Now that [Stamkos] has come in -- he's a guy I've known a long time -- obviously he went ahead of me in the draft. Playing against him is always fun. It's always a challenge. He's a fantastic hockey player and I always look forward to these things."

Posted On Sunday, 02.15.2015 / 2:23 PM

By Curtis Zupke - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Capitals at Ducks

The Washington Capitals and Anaheim Ducks were not expected to skate before they played Sunday at Honda Center.

Anaheim is home after it went 2-2-1 on a five-game trip. It will likely turn to goalie John Gibson again after Gibson backstopped the Ducks to a 2-1 win Thursday against the Carolina Hurricanes upon his recall from the American Hockey League. Starting goalie Frederik Andersen is not eligible to come off injured reserve until next week; he was injured when the goal apparatus fell on him Feb. 8.

Backup goalie Ilya Bryzgalov has struggled and Anaheim could have to make a tough decision on who will serve as the No. 2 goalie when Andersen is healthy. Bryzgalov was signed to a $1.9 million contract in December but Gibson might be a better option.

Posted On Saturday, 02.14.2015 / 4:26 PM

By Curtis Zupke - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Capitals at Kings

EL SEGUNDO, Calif.Los Angeles Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr is a microcosm of his team in that he’s trying to get better after a bad spell.

Regehr said he’s still feeling the effects of an illness he got earlier this week, but he’s played through it and will again try to help the Kings keep their winning streak going Saturday against the Washington Capitals at Staples Center.

"I’m still kind of so-so," Regehr said. "It’s lingering here a little bit longer than I hoped. I don’t know if it’s a bug or if it was a food issue. I went out with the guys in Columbus one night. Most of the guys had a fish dish, and I had something a little bit different, and I seem to be the only one who got sick that night. Hopefully it will be gone soon."

Posted On Thursday, 02.12.2015 / 4:16 PM

By Curtis Zupke - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Flames at Kings

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – The Los Angeles Kings have had to patch holes in their defense for most of the season, so this latest setback isn't anything new.

Defenseman Alec Martinez will miss his second straight game Thursday against the Calgary Flames because he is being evaluated for concussion-like symptoms. He has not been skating. The Kings recalled defenseman Derek Forbort from the American Hockey League, but Forbort did not take line rushes and won't appear to make his NHL debut.

Defensemen Robyn Regehr and Drew Doughty were partnered again as the top pair after coach Darryl Sutter put them together the previous game.

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Quote of the Day

He's only 17 but he can see the ice so well and he moves the puck and goes to the open ice all the time, so I just think he's a player that is ready to play in the NHL. I'm really looking forward to coaching someone like this.

— U.S. National Junior Team coach Ron Wilson on Auston Matthews, the projected No. 1 pick of the 2016 NHL Draft