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Posted On Monday, 05.26.2014 / 2:36 PM

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

Kings have blanked Blackhawks' Kane, but stay wary

LOS ANGELES -- Darryl Sutter's press conferences are known for awkward silences and long pauses. The Los Angeles Kings coach isn't chatty on a lot of days, but he perked up Monday morning when asked about limiting Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane.

Kane has been held scoreless in the first three games of the Western Conference Final, which the Kings lead 2-1 going into Game 4 at Staples Center on Monday (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN). Kane was a combined minus-4 in Games 2 and 3, but Sutter and the Kings don't need to be reminded that he is a sleeping bear they expect to wake.

"Kane's a scary guy," Sutter said. "We talk about it all the time. The more you play him, the more you know it's coming somewhere. We're very familiar with him and we're very respectful of what he brings to the team. You can say he's been kept off [the score sheet]. But we've done a good job against him. He's had some brilliant opportunities, and those guys like that, they only need those one or two, so we have to be even more aware of him."

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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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Quote of the Day

I was surprised. I knew I got it. It's tough. You never know how hard it is until it registers on the gun. I got pretty much all I could into and you just hope for the best.

— Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber after winning the AMP NHL Hardest Shot event at the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition