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Kings vs Sharks

Posted On Wednesday, 05.22.2013 / 7:12 PM

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

Lack of scoring pushes Brown to Kings' 3rd line

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Kings were able to grind out a low-scoring first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series against the St. Louis Blues, but the past two second-round games against the San Jose Sharks have forced coach Darryl Sutter to make changes.

Kings captain Dustin Brown was dropped to third line right wing while Kyle Clifford took his spot on the first line with Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams at practice Wednesday.

Los Angeles has scored one goal in each of the past games, each a 2-1 loss to the San Jose in that evened the Western Conference Semifinal series at two games each.

Game 5 is Thursday at Staples Center (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, RDS, TSN).

"We've scored two goals in 120 minutes, so I'm not surprised by any changes," Brown said.

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.21.2013 / 5:04 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Kings-Sharks series blog

Kings look to take control of series on road in Game 4

SAN JOSE -- Playing the San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion is never easy, but Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said he welcomes the chance to put a hammerlock on their Western Conference Semifinal series Tuesday night in Game 4 (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, RDS, TSN).

"They live off playing in their own arena," Doughty said after the Kings' optional morning skate there. "To be able to get a win in their home rink I think will be a little deflating for them. We know how tough it's going to be to steal one here tonight, but we're determined to do it. If we go back to Staples [Center] up 3-1, we know there's a good chance we can close out the series. Right now it's just one game at a time, and tonight's the most important."

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Posted On Monday, 05.20.2013 / 4:46 PM

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

Clifford expects to return for Kings in Game 4

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Kyle Clifford could return to the Los Angeles Kings' lineup for Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the San Jose Sharks when the series resumes Tuesday (10 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

Clifford skated with the fourth line in practice Monday, with Brad Richardson and Colin Fraser, and indicated he will be in for Game 4.

"It definitely looks that way," Clifford said. "It feels good to get back in the lineup. Playing with those guys, it's going to be a lot of fun."

Coach Darryl Sutter said that "everybody that's on the ice is available. At some point it will be good to have him back."

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Posted On Monday, 05.20.2013 / 4:23 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Kings-Sharks series blog

Sharks' Couture skips practice while Burish skates

CSNBayArea.com reported that San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture skipped practice Monday after sustaining an injury in Game 3 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Los Angeles Kings.

Couture was hurt in the second period when he slammed into the boards awkwardly and limped off the ice. However, he returned before the end of the second and went on to score in overtime.

The Sharks expect Couture to be ready for Game 4 of the series Tuesday (10 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

Also sitting out practice was Martin Havlat, who aggravated a lower-body injury in Game 3 and will not play in Game 4.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.19.2013 / 7:14 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Kings-Sharks series blog

Sharks forward Havlat out for Game 4

San Jose Sharks forward Martin Havlat will not play in Game 4 against the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday, coach Todd McLellan said Sunday.

Havlat returned for Game 3 of the Western Conference Semifinals on Saturday after missing all but the first period of Game 1 of a first-round sweep. However, he lasted six shifts worth 4:52 of ice time before sustaining a lower-body injury.

McLellan said he did not know if the injury was related to the one Havlat sustained in the prior series against the Vancouver Canucks.

"If you're hurt and you can't play, you can't play," McLellan said. "We can be as frustrated as we want. It was hard because we had to juggle the lineup, but we talked about the difference between being injured and hurt. He's injured."

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Posted On Sunday, 05.19.2013 / 6:04 PM

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

Kings' Pearson pleased with NHL debut

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Tanner Pearson never thought he would play with the big club when the Los Angeles Kings called him up from Manchester of the American Hockey League.

Pearson thought he would simply play with the Black Aces and act as a sort of practice squad for the regulars. But he was told the day of Game 3 against the San Jose Sharks that he would make his NHL debut in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

“It all came to reality when I first stepped on the ice to start the first with all the fans going crazy. It was pretty loud in that building but it was fun to be a part of it,” Pearson said Sunday.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.19.2013 / 6:02 PM

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

Kings try to refocus for Game 4, but OT loss lingers

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- A day passed for the Los Angeles Kings to let their emotions settle down, only to have reality set in.

Two late penalties drew all the attention -- and complaints from Kings players -- after a 2-1 overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks in Game 3 of the Western Conference Semifinals. That obscured that Los Angeles was uncharacteristically undisciplined, again allowed a lot of shots, yielded much offensive-zone time, and continued to see little production from its top line.

L.A. gave San Jose five power plays in Game 3, its most times shorthanded since Game 1 of the quarterfinals against the St. Louis Blues. Prior to that, the Kings had not given the opposition five power plays since Feb. 17.

"I'm not happy taking that many penalties," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said Sunday. "It doesn't matter if we agreed with the calls or not. It doesn't have any impact on anything."

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Posted On Saturday, 05.18.2013 / 9:20 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Kings-Sharks series blog

Havlat in Sharks lineup for Game 3

SAN JOSE -- Just minutes after the San Jose Sharks' morning skate ended Saturday, coach Todd McLellan got the news he had been waiting for regarding injured forward Martin Havlat.

"He came to see me and said he's ready to go," McLellan said. "So we'll find a spot for him."

The Sharks trailed the Los Angeles Kings 2-0 in their Western Conference Semifinal series heading into Game 3 Saturday (NBCSN, TSN, RDS). With Havlat back in the lineup, the Sharks' lines have a new look at HP Pavilion.

Havlat had been out with a lower-body injury since midway through the first period of Game 1 of the Sharks' Western Conference Quarterfinal series against the Vancouver Canucks.

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Posted On Friday, 05.17.2013 / 7:10 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Kings-Sharks series blog

Havlat trying to return to Sharks for Game 3

San Jose Sharks forward Martin Havlat said Friday it's possible he could return to the lineup for Game 3 against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday (9 p.m. ET, NBCSN, RDS, TSN).

"Getting better. We'll see how it goes tomorrow morning," Havlat said, according to CSN Bay Area. "We'll see. Like I said, we’ll see how it feels tomorrow. It's getting closer and closer."

The Sharks trail the best-of-7 Western Conference Semifinal 2-0 after squandering a 3-2 lead in the final two minutes of Game 2 at Staples Center, losing 4-3 on two Kings power-play goals 22 seconds apart.

"That's Marty, mother nature and the trainer's decision," coach Todd McLellan said of Havlat's possible return for the game at HP Pavilion. "I can't speed any of those up as a coach. I hope that one day soon that he comes knocking on my door and tells me that he's ready to go, because we could sure use him."

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Posted On Friday, 05.17.2013 / 6:12 PM

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

Kings looking to improve on road

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- It was easy for the Los Angeles Kings to joke and shrug off a dangerous-looking facial injury to Anze Kopitar a day later.

Kopitar said he needed about 20 stitches to close a cut near his mouth after he was hit by the puck on a shot by teammate Dustin Brown in the third period of Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinal series Thursday night.

"There goes the modeling career," coach Darryl Sutter joked. "Best looking Slovenian athlete."

Informed of Sutter's comment, Kopitar said, "I think that ship has sailed long time ago."

Kopitar returned to the "Rocky" theme song at Staples Center, and the Kings delivered one of the franchise's greatest comeback wins in the Stanley Cup Playoffs when they erased a 3-2 deficit in the final two minutes for a 4-3 win against the San Jose Sharks.

Modeling jokes aside, the Kings must put on a serious face as the best-of-7 series moves to HP Pavilion for Games 3 and 4. L.A. leads, 2-0, but it is somewhat misleading given it was largely outplayed in both games.

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Quote of the Day

You don't see many. The [Drew] Doughtys, the [P.K.] Subbans, those are guys that create offense from the back and then on top of that ability, the size that he has. In the West you play against some pretty big players, and being able to clear the crease and contain the [Ryan] Getzlafs and the [Corey] Perrys and [Anze] Kopitars and players like that, we're excited about him going back there.

— Sharks general manager Doug Wilson on Brent Burns returning back to defense