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Posted On Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 5:45 PM

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

Getzlaf credits Ducks' success for Hart nomination

ANAHEIM -- When Corey Perry won the Hart Trophy in 2011, it was thought to light a fire under longtime friend and Anaheim Ducks linemate Ryan Getzlaf. It took a slightly longer than expected, but Getzlaf truly took ownership of his captaincy this season.

That was confirmed Thursday when Getzlaf was announced as one of three finalists for the Hart Trophy, given to the NHL's most valuable player. Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers are the other nominees.

Getzlaf's nomination comes two seasons after he endured his worst in the NHL, and it could give the Ducks two Hart winners on the same line.

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.29.2014 / 6:48 PM

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

Kings can draw on Game 7 experience

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The slight grins on their faces and certain tone in their voices were noticeable when Los Angeles Kings Mike Richards and Drew Doughty talked about playing a Game 7.

It's a cliché, but it's true: Game 7s bring hockey players back to their childhoods, when they envisioned scoring the game-winner from the driveway or backyard pond. Those thoughts seemed to run through Doughty's mind Tuesday when he talked about Game 7 of the Western Conference First Round series against the San Jose Sharks to be played Wednesday at SAP Center (10 p.m. ET; CBC,RDS,PRIME).

"Last night, I couldn't sleep [I was] just so excited for this game," Doughty said. "I'm going to have to get a nap in today and get a better sleep tonight because I'm a little tired this morning. I just can't wait to get it going. It's an unbelievable atmosphere in that arena when we come on the ice and they're going to be booing us like crazy right off the bat. It gets the goose bumps going and gets you excited for the game and gets you excited to hopefully beat that team in their rink. I know everyone is looking forward to it."

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Posted On Monday, 04.28.2014 / 3:48 PM

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

Sharks defenseman Vlasic sidelined for Game 6

LOS ANGELES -- The San Jose Sharks will not have defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic for Game 6 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night at Staples Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS, CSN-CA, PRIME).

The Sharks will use Matt Irwin to replace Vlasic, who left Game 5 with an upper-body injury from a hit by Jarret Stoll late in the first period. Vlasic did not skate and did not even have a locker stall in the Sharks dressing room. San Jose leads Los Angeles 3-2 in the best-of-7 series.

"It's a loss to our hockey club, but it's one we can overcome," San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. "Good teams that have opportunities to win and move on overcome adversity, and this is one of those situations. We feel that Matt Irwin or Matt Tennyson can go into that position and play. They're different players. They're different levels of experience, but both of them have National Hockey League experience, and are capable of getting it done.

"It's not about the one you lose, it's about the collective group, as a whole, that has to pull together. We can overcome that loss."

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Posted On Monday, 04.28.2014 / 3:14 PM

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

Sharks name Stalock as Game 6 starter

LOS ANGELES -- San Jose Sharks goalie Alex Stalock sat at his locker stall and looked at the game notes, specifically the roster for the Los Angeles Kings. He counted off the names of the players he's seen in the American Hockey League.

Stalock knows several of the Kings' younger players from playing against them in the Calder Cup Playoffs, and he would like to use that knowledge to eliminate the Kings when he starts Game 6 of the Western Conference First Round series on Monday night at Staples Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS, CSN-CA, PRIME).

It will be his first career start in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. San Jose leads the best-of-7 series, 3-2.

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Posted On Sunday, 04.27.2014 / 6:31 PM

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

Sutter praises Toffoli after latest Kings win

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter walked into his Sunday media session and pretended to be a cameraman in his own scrum. He stood behind one of the cameras and playfully asked questions like a reporter.

"Did you think that was a good goal?" Sutter joked. "What did you think of your third line?"

The small group of giggling reporters almost couldn't get over it. Roughly 12 hours earlier, Sutter conducted a 42-second postgame press conference that featured him in his classic, tight-lipped contrarian stance.

Sutter was cheerier a day after his Los Angeles Kings trailed 3-2 in the Western Conference First Round series against the San Jose Sharks. Their attempt to become the fourth team in NHL history to win after erasing a 3-0 deficit resumes with Game 6 at Staples Center on Monday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS, CSN-CA, PRIME).


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Posted On Friday, 04.25.2014 / 11:09 PM

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

Brenden Dillon returns for Stars in Game 5

ANAHEIM -- Defenseman Brenden Dillon was in the lineup for the Dallas Stars when they faced the Anaheim Ducks in Game 5 of their Western Conference First Round series on Friday.

Dillon missed the first four games of the series with a lower-body injury sustained on April 11 against the St. Louis Blues.
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Posted On Friday, 04.25.2014 / 10:35 PM

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

Getzlaf is back in lineup for Ducks

ANAHEIM -- Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf participated in warm-ups and will play in Game 5 of the Western Conference First Round Series against the Dallas Stars on Friday at Honda Center.

Getzlaf took line rushes with Corey Perry and Nick Bonino. Getzlaf missed Game 4 with an undisclosed upper-body injury that is believed to be related to the facial injury that required stitches in Game 1.

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Posted On Friday, 04.25.2014 / 4:15 PM

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

Ducks stick with Andersen; Sbisa, Selanne in lineup

ANAHEIM -- Speculation the Anaheim Ducks would turn back to veteran goalie Jonas Hiller ended when goalie Frederik Andersen came off the ice first Friday morning.

Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said the rookie will start Game 5 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Dallas Stars on Friday at Honda Center (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, RDS2, PRIME, FS-SW).

Andersen was pulled in the third period of Game 4 in favor of Hiller, who made his series debut and faced one shot. Andersen's first poor game of the Stanley Cup Playoffs opened the possibility Hiller would reclaim the starting job, at least for Game 5.

"That might have been Andersen's first bad game in an awful long time, and I think he'll bounce back and do a real good job tonight," Boudreau said.

"I think he knows I have full confidence, so I don't think that was an issue. I don't think I had to go over it and say, 'Hey Freddie, I've got a lot of faith in you.' I think that's sort of a given from the amount of time he's played this year, and the amount of big games he's played in."

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Posted On Friday, 04.25.2014 / 2:44 PM

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

Ducks' Getzlaf hoping he'll be back in Game 5 lineup

ANAHEIM -- It sure looked like Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf was ready to return to the lineup, but he didn't give anything away about his status for Game 5 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Dallas Stars on Friday at Honda Center (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, RDS2, PRIME, FS-SW).

The best-of-7 series is tied 2-2 after the Stars won the past two games in Dallas.

"We'll see tonight," Getzlaf said. "This is part of our process that we're going through right now. I won't really know until game time tonight.

"I feel good. Everything's where we want it to be and hopefully that continues on throughout the day."

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Posted On Thursday, 04.24.2014 / 3:29 PM

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

Kings coach Sutter to reunite Brown with Kopitar

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown has long known that center Anze Kopitar is a worthy candidate for the Selke Trophy. He'll get a reminder of that Thursday when he's reunited on a line with Kopitar.

Brown was back with Kopitar on the top line, with Marian Gaborik at left wing, at the Kings morning skate. Coach Darryl Sutter normally doesn't address such changes, but he confirmed there will be one wrinkle when the Kings try to avoid a sweep by the San Jose Sharks in Game 4 of the Western Conference First Round series at Staples Center (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS, CSN-CA, FS-W).

"Hopefully it gives [us] a little size and power," Sutter said. "That line, I think, when we play against [San Jose center Joe] Thornton, we've had trouble with his size and [right wing Brent] Burns and Thornton, quite honest. To answer it the best, we've talked to players and coaches about very much staying [with] seven defensemen, 11 forwards, so we need guys moving around."

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— Islanders captain John Tavares after a 4-1 win against the Penguins tied the teams atop the Metropolitan Division standings
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