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Posted On Saturday, 10.08.2011 / 11:19 AM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Kings of Europe

Young defenseman Martinez has been gaining notice

Although he did not find his way on to the score sheet Friday night in the 3-2 overtime victory against the New York Rangers in Stockholm, it was hard to ignore young defenseman Alec Martinez, who is entering his second full season with the Los Angeles Kings.

On most of the 24 shifts he took Friday night -- combining for 19:44 of ice time -- he did something positive to catch the eyes of the coaching staff and spectators alike. At other times, he was not noticeable at all -- which is also good for a defenseman because it means he is not making mistakes.

Less than 15 hours removed from that performance, Murray had some high praise for Martinez, who played his college Hockey at Miami University and made his NHL breakthrough this past season, appearing in 60 NHL games, as well as the Kings' first-round playoff loss to the Sharks.

"He's the kind of player that you have to make room for and you want to see grow and you want to see get more minutes in a game," Murray told NHL.com. "He's got great mobility, vision, he jumps up in the play and he can score goals and defends very well because of his agility and mobility.

"He's a young guy that still has some stuff to figure out in the defending part of the game, especially the down-low part of the game. But we want to keep pushing and demanding more of him so his game will continue to improve and he can contribute more in the critical situations. "

One of the things that makes Martinez so noticeable is his ability to handle the transition game and get the puck to the right places, allowing the Kings to get into that quick counter-attacking mode they favor. Plus, he can do it either with the puck on his stick, lugging it to the offensive zone, or with the quick pass.

"It is the way the game is evolving, with the speed now and the necessity for defenseman to be able to carry the puck, move the puck through the middle of the ice," Murray said. "We see a tremendous upside with him and we just hope that he is going to be able to handle the workload that we're going to ask of him."

Martinez's workload is approaching 20 minutes per game despite the fact that he plays a similar style to franchise cornerstones Jack Johnson and Drew Doughty. All three like to look for offense and all three still need to work extra hard in their own end to make up for deficiencies there. But Murray says Martinez has earned the extra playing time and he will continue to get it until his play suggests otherwise.

"You do have to have four (defensemen) that play a big part of it," Murray said. "You are looking for your shutdown guys that are going to match up against top lines and your PK guys like Matt Greene and Rob Scuderi. The other players -- particularly with Martinez, I don't think is a problem with putting more of a workload on him. He's able to handle it -- we have seen it in the minors and we have seen it in training camp.

"I'm just excited for him because he's a player that really surprised us last year whenever we called him up. He's become a pretty important player for us."

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Posted On Saturday, 10.08.2011 / 9:47 AM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Kings of Europe

Murray says Premiere experience has been positive

For the Kings, their European adventure is almost complete.

After arriving in Hamburg on Monday for a Tuesday night game against the Freezers of the DEL, the Kings settled in Stockholm for three days. That stay was finished off Friday night with a 3-2 overtime win against the New York Rangers in the first of two 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere games the Kings will play.

The team arrived in Berlin in the wee hours of the morning Saturday and will play the Buffalo Sabres, 4-1 victors against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday in Helsinki, Finland, on Saturday night at the O2 Arena here. After the game, the Kings fly to the United States for an extended stay on the East Coast before Thursday night's game in New Jersey.

Despite some obvious travel hardships, coach Terry Murray says his team's Premiere experience has been all the team could want.

"It's been a great week here (in Europe)," Murray told NHL.com. "To me, everything was really well done with the planning part of it. It's an incredible amount of work done by a whole lot of people. There's so many details. Our training staff has been phenomenal in getting done what they needed to get done in moving us around and having everything in place for the players.

"From the League standpoint, everything was exactly what we needed. There were plenty of people to give us whatever information we needed, to help us out to move around. I don't think you can ask for anything better than that actually."

Murray raved about Friday night's game in Stockholm, and not just because his team emerged victorious thanks to Jack Johnson's dramatic goal in overtime.

"Overall, I think the experience has been tremendous, giving back to the European fans," Murray continued. "The energy in the building (Friday) night was really good. It was a lot of fun playing in Stockholm. There are a lot of great Swedish players over the years, a lot of them in attendance (Friday night). That part of it was great and we are just looking forward to finish it off tonight in Berlin."

As mentioned, the Kings will charter home Saturday night after the game, arriving in the States in the early-morning hours of Sunday morning. After a rest-and-recuperation day Sunday, the team will hit the ice Monday to begin preparation for Thursday's game against the Devils. The team then plays the Flyers on Saturday night before heading home for next Tuesday's home opener against The St. Louis Blues.

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Posted On Saturday, 10.08.2011 / 9:42 AM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Kings of Europe

Penner will miss second straight for Kings

Dustin Penner will not play in Saturday's 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere final against the Buffalo Sabres at O2 Arena, missing his second-straight game with an unspecified injury, coach Terry Murray stated Saturday morning.

"Every day that he is off the ice, he's going to get better, he's going to recover more," Murray told NHL.com at the team's Berlin hotel. "We'll get him through another day here with some treatment and then we'll get back over to East Coast after the game tonight and then we have four days before we play again. That's going to be good for him. We'll get him back on the ice on Monday and work on getting his conditioning back up. Three days of hard work and hopefully he'll be ready for the Devils."

Penner missed just the seventh game of his career since becoming a full-time player in the NHL during the 2006-07 season.

Murray also revealed on Saturday morning that Jonathan Bernier will get the start in goal for Saturday night's game. Jonathan Quick was the goalie in Friday's 3-2 OT win against the Rangers in Stockholm, stopping 24 of 26 shots. But Murray has decided to shuffle the deck, in part because of the hard travel conditions to get to Berlin post-game. The team did not arrive at the hotel until after 2 a.m. local time.

"It's back-to-back games and it was a very late night last night," Murray said. "Getting here, that is too hard. That's part of it and the other part of it is both goalies are looking good; they are fresh and we'll give Bernier his opportunity tonight."

Bernier is 15-11-3 in his 32 career appearances, posting a 2.56 goals against average, a .911 save percentage and 4 shutouts.

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Posted On Friday, 10.07.2011 / 6:40 AM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Kings of Europe

Kopitar looks forward to Swedish homecoming

It's been six seasons since Anze Kopitar played in Sweden, but he still has fond memories of his time in Sweden and is looking at Friday night's 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere game against the New York Rangers as a homecoming of sorts.

Kopitar played two seasons with Sodertalje, a Swedish Elite club located about an hour south of here. He has made countless trips to Stockholm with Sodertalje. He even played several games in the Globe Arena, site of Friday night's game.

"I played a few games here that I remember well," he told NHL.com after Friday's morning skate at the Globe.

He is also excited to have some family and friends in the building. Slovenia is several hours away, but his grandparents and his girlfriend have made the trip. His parents, though, are back in Los Angeles and will watch the game on TV.

There will also be a contingent from the Sodertalje organization at Friday's game

"Not a whole lot of guys," Koptar said. "The organization has changed. It's been a few years since i played there, but I will have a few guys coming in."

After traversing much of North America during the preseason and then having extended training camp and an exhibition game in Hamburg, Kopitar is ready to start the regular season.

"It's time," he said.

He knows the Kings are expected to be better than the club that finished No. 7 in the Western Conference last season and was knocked out in the first round of the playoffs. He believes the Kings are better, but wants to see his assumption challenged by the pressure of the regular season.

"It seems that way that we've gotten a lot better over the summer," Kopitar said "It's tough to see guys go, but I guess you have to give up something to get something. It's nice to see those guys come in and obviously they are hungry. There's a lot of experience in that group. It's definitely going to help us experience-wise."



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Posted On Thursday, 10.06.2011 / 2:33 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Kings of Europe

Doughty faces no limitations

Drew Doughty may have just three full practices and one preseason game under his belt after signing a new-long term deal last week, but he will be under no restrictions when it comes to playing time in Friday's season-opening game against the New York Rangers (1 p.m. ET, Versus, TSN).

"I had a conversation with Drew the other day after the game and asked him how he is doing and how he is feeling," Kings coach Terry Murray said Thursday. "He said he felt very comfortable in the exhibition game against Hamburg. I have confidence that he is going to be able to log the minutes we need from him.

"He's energized, he's enthusiastic, he's excited about his new deal and coming back to join the team. He's a great player and we'll get him the minutes we feel we need to get from him."

Last season, Doughty played almost 26 minutes a game. His mark of 25:38 was topped by just four other defensemen.

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Posted On Thursday, 10.06.2011 / 2:14 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Kings of Europe

Doughty faces no limitations

Drew Doughty may have just three full practices and one exhibition game under his belt after signing a new-long term deal last week.

But he will be under no restrictions when it comes to playing time in Friday's season-opening game against the New York Rangers.

"I had a conversation with Drew the other day after the game and asked him how he is doing and how he is feeling," Murray said Thursday. "He said he felt very comfortable in the exhibition game against Hamburg. I have confidence that he is going to be able to log the minutes we need from him.

"He's energized, he's enthusiastic, he's excited about his new deal and coming back to join the team. He's a great player and we'll get him the minutes we feel we need to get from him."

Last season, Doughty played almost 26 minutes a game. His mark of 25:38 was topped by just four other defensemen.



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Posted On Thursday, 10.06.2011 / 2:10 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Kings of Europe

Kings without Penner for season opener

The Los Angeles Kings will not begin the 2011-12 season with their full roster.

Dustin Penner, normally a top-six forward, will not play in Friday's opener against the New York Rangers at Globe Arena. He has been ruled out with an undisclosed injury.

"Dustin Penner is still not feeling great," Murray said Thursday after the team's 75-minute practice at the Globe. "He's probably about 80 percent. It's improving, but it's going to take some time. He's not going to be ready for tomorrow. He'll just continue to rehab, get some ice time and push him until he's comfortable."

Penner took part in Thursday's practice, but left after 40 minutes.

With Penner out, Murray juggled his lines a bit. Brad Richardson moved into the top-six rotation and spent Thursday on a line with Mike Richards and Dustin Brown.

That alignment was a bit of a surprise, but Murray said it was a reward to Richardson for his work in camp, as well as a strong showing to close last season.

"He's been real good, right from the first day," Murray said of Richardson. "He's just coming off the playoff from last year where I thought he showed some signs of breaking through. He's got great speed. I think the confidence is starting to show in his game. He put a lot of numbers up in junior, and sometimes with players it takes a little bit of time.

"Again, he is starting to feel it, it's starting to come. He's more comfortable in tighter situations with the puck on his stick. He's always been a player that can create separation with his speed. I just hope he continues to go forward from here. It's a great opportunity for him."

In other lineup news, Murray confirmed that Jonathan Quick would start Game 1. He would not, however reveal if he has a goalie already in mind for Saturday's game in Berlin against the Buffalo Sabres.

"The only thing I can say is that Quick will play the game tomorrow," Murray said. "We talked in the past, in the early part of camp back home, where I have said that I won’t lock myself in and have designated games for the goaltenders. We're going to play it out here. Points are so critical that if we got a goaltender that is on a roll, that's the right way to go."


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Posted On Wednesday, 10.05.2011 / 12:38 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Kings of Europe

Parse makes final cut for Kings

The Los Angeles Kings cut their roster to 23 players Thursday during an off-day for the team here in Stockholm.

Defenseman Slava Voynov was optioned to Manchester of the American Hockey League, while Jake Muzzin was placed on injured reserve. Colin Fraser, meanwhile, will start the season as an injured non-roster player.

Scott Parse
Those moves got the Kings down to 23 roster players, plus Jeff Zatkoff, the third goalie. Zatkoff does not count against the roster while in Europe; he'll be optioned to Manchester when the team returns to North America on Sunday.

The final roster cut-down deadline is Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET.

Wednesday's announcement also means forward Scott Parse has made the club despite struggling through much of camp.

Parse, who admitted to his struggles in the preseason, had a stronger game Tuesday in a 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere Challenge game against the Hamburg Freezers at O2 Arena in Hamburg, Germany, which likely assured his spot on the team.

After the game, Kings coach Terry Murray admitted he wasn't pleased where Parse was at, but believed there still was room for improvement as the forward tries to put major hip surgery behind him. Certainly, Parse's track record helped him stick with the club.

Murray said he put Parse on the team's top line Tuesday in an attempt to get Parse going. He liked the results, to a degree, and suggested Parse could open the season as a first-line forward -- especially with forward Dustin Penner questionable for Friday's 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere season-opener against the New York Rangers at the Globe (1 p.m. ET, Versus, TSN).

"First of all, he's coming through a lot from last year; he missed all but five games during the season, then he ended up with a couple games in the playoffs because of the hip surgery," Murray said after his team earned a 5-3 victory against Hamburg. "That's a major rehab process that he has gone through. He made a huge commitment in the offseason to work out and get himself ready for camp. I think he's still just trying to find his way.

"The one thing that he brings is that first, second step, where he can create separation and score some goals, and I'm not seeing that quickness right now. It's a little methodical, and so he has a ways to go, but on the positive side of it, I like his attitude. He did work very hard. He's trying to get it all together. Parse is a player who can score. I will keep him there and give him the opportunity to get things on track."
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Posted On Wednesday, 10.05.2011 / 10:10 AM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Kings of Europe

Doughty passes first test

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty was just happy to survive Thursday night's preseason game against Hamburg.

After all, much was conspiring against him. Most importantly, he had just two practices -- actually one practice and a morning skate -- with the full team after arriving in camp late because of a contract stalemate. Secondly, the game was played on the big ice, meaning he would have a ton of extra ice to cover.

Yet, thanks to the fact that the Kings dressed eight defensemen and coach Terry Murray was judicious with Doughty's ice time, the young defenseman was able to weather the storm and come out the other side in better shape for it.

"I felt good," Doughty said minutes after his team earned a 5-3 win against the Freezers at O2 World Arena. "Obviously, I didn't feel 100 percent or the way I wanted to; but after the long trip, I thought I played well."

Doughty made several good defensive plays in the game and was dangerous from the point on the offensive side of the puck, but he says the Olympic-sized ice was causing him some problems -- especially in down-low coverage.

"That was the tough part," he said. "I think all the guys struggled with that (Tuesday night). You thought you were in a good position and that guy's 15 feet away. It was a tough adjustment, but we did alright. These games are tough to play in."

After landing in Stockholm early Wednesday morning, the Kings were given the day off. They will practice Thursday at the Globe Arena in a final preparation for Friday's 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere game against the Rangers here on Friday.

That game will be played on NHL-sized ice and Doughty says he will be ready.

"You know, I think I will be at my best in that opener there," Doughty said. "Once I put my mind to it, I go out there and play my best. That's my main focus now, getting in a couple of practices and being at my best on opening day."

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.04.2011 / 2:47 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Kings of Europe

Moreau pads lead with goal early in third

The Kings finally have a bit of breathing room as Ethan Moreau gives Los Angeles a 5-3 lead on Hamburg here at O2 World Arena.

Moreau, the fifth King to score Tuesday, roofed a backhander off a rebound past a late-reacting John Curry, who had little chance on the play, which started with a great chance by Anze Kopitar.

Hamburg has already erased three leads in this game, but they will be hard-pressed to do so again as there are less than 15 minutes remaining in the game.


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Posted On Tuesday, 10.04.2011 / 2:25 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Kings of Europe

Richardson gives Kings 4-3 advantage after two

The Los Angeles Kings wanted a good tune-up for the regular season when they played the Hamburg Freezers Tuesday night at O2 World Arena in their final preseason game.

Well, they are getting just that. After two periods here, the Kings lead 4-3, taking their fourth lead of the game as Brad Richardson scored the go-ahead goal with just 16 seconds left in the second period.

The Kings got off to a dream start, scoring just 36 seconds into the game.

Justin Williams' goal, on the first shot of the game, was a seemingly harmless wrister from the right circle that seemed to handcuff John Curry, the Hamburg goalie. Curry played the past several seasons in the Pittsburgh Penguins' system. This is his first year with Hamburg.

After carrying the play for close to five minutes, the Freezers were rewarded with a power-play goal that tied the game at 1-1. Former NHLer Serge Aubin, who played 374 NHL games for Columbus, Colorado and Atlanta, beat Jonathan Quick with a nasty shot from the slot with 7:09 left.

On the very next shift, Alex Martinez restored the lead for the Kings, snapping home a brilliant feed from Dustin Brown, who used the wide ice of the Olympic-sized rink here to give himself some separation.

However, with a little more than two minutes remaining in the period, Kevin Schmidt, from Markham, Ont., pinched in from the point and received a perfect pass, which he fired over Quick's shoulder to tie the game heading into intermission.

In the second period, the teams exchanged goals again to send it into the third deadlocked.

The Kings failed on a pair of power plays in the first half of the second period and then watched as Hamburg scored on the counter-attack to take a 3-2 lead midway through.

The Freezers earned the goal, as they dominated play on the scoring shift before Aubin scored on his own rebound after Quick had made two initial saves on the sequence. It was Aubin's second goal of the game.

Just as was the case in the first period, though, Hamburg couldn't hold a lead as the Kings stormed back and got a goal from Anze Kopitar after passes from Justin Williams and Scott Parse, who is in a dogfight to make this team.

Quick was pulled after the goal in a pre-planned move as Kings coach Terry Murray put in Jonathan Bernier for the second half of the game

Kings defenseman Drew Doughty is making his preseason debut in this game after signing a new long-term deal late last week and has already made two good defensive plays.


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Posted On Tuesday, 10.04.2011 / 2:15 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Kings of Europe

Kopitar pulls Kings into 3-3 tie with Hamburg

For the Kings, it was time to get a little nervous.

The team failed on a pair of power plays in the first half of the second period and then watched as Hamburg scored on the counter-attack to take a 3-2 lead midway through. The Freezers earned the goal, as they dominated play on the scoring shift before Serge Aubin scored on his own rebound after Jonathan Quick had made two initial saves on the sequence. It was Aubin's second goal of the game.

Just as was the case in the first period, though, Hamburg couldn't hold a lead. The Kings stormed back and got a goal from Anze Kopitar after passes from Justin Williams and Scott Parse, who is in a dogfight to make this team.

Quick was pulled after the goal in a pre-planned move as Kings coach Terry Murray put in Jonathan Bernier for the second half of the game



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Posted On Tuesday, 10.04.2011 / 1:43 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Kings of Europe

Kings, Freezers deadlocked at 2-2 after one period

The Los Angeles Kings wanted a good tune-up for the regular season when they played the Hamburg Freezers Tuesday night at O2 World Arena in their final preseason game.

Well, they are getting just that. After one period here, the score is tied 2-2 as the Freezers have twice erased one-goal deficits.

The Kings got off to a dream start, scoring just 36 seconds into the game

Justin Williams' goal, on the first shot of the game, was a seemingly harmless wrister from the right circle that seemed to handcuff John Curry, the Hamburg goalie. Curry played the past several seasons in the Pittsburgh Penguins' system. This is his first year with Hamburg.

After carrying the play for close to five minutes, the Freezers were rewarded with a power-play goal that tied the game at 1-1. Former NHLer Serge Aubin, who played 374 NHL games for Columbus, Colorado and Atlanta, beat Jonathan Quick with a nasty shot from the slot with 7:09 left.

But on the very next shift, Alex Martinez restored the lead for the Kings, snapping home a brilliant feed from Dustin Brown, who used the wide ice of the Olympic-sized rink here to give himself some separation.

However, with a little more than two minutes remaining in the period, Kevin Schmidt, from Markham, Ont., pinched in from the point and received a perfect pass, which he fired over Quick's shoulder to tie the game heading into intermission.

Quick got the start for the Kings and he will play approximately half the game, according to coach Terry Murray. Jonathan Bernier will play the second half. Drew Doughty is making his preseason debut in this game after signing a new long-term deal late last week and has already made two good defensive plays.



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Posted On Tuesday, 10.04.2011 / 1:33 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Kings of Europe

Kings answer Freezers' goal, up 2-1

A pair of goals in less than a minute have brought live into this game after a slight lull.

After carrying the play for close to five minutes, the Freezers were rewarded with a power-play goal that tied the game at 1-1. Former NHLer Serge Aubin, who played 374 NHL games for Columbus, Colorado and Atlanta, beat Jonathan Quick with a nasty shot from the slot with 7:09 left.

But on the very next shift, Alex Martinez restored the lead for the Kings, snapping home a brilliant feed from Dustin Brown, who used the wide ice of the Olympic-sized rink here to give himself some separation.
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Posted On Tuesday, 10.04.2011 / 1:13 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Kings of Europe

Williams gives Kings a quick lead

The Los Angeles Kings have gotten off to a dream start in their final exhibition game, scoring just 36 seconds into the game against the Hamburg Freezers at O2 World Arena in Hamburg.

Justin Williams' goal, on the first shot of the game, was a seemingly harmless wrister from the right circle that seemed to handcuff John Curry, the Hamburg goalie. Curry played the past several seasons in the Pittsburgh Penguins system. This is his first year with Hamburg.

Jonathan Quick got the start for the Kings. He will play approximately half the game, according to coach Terry Murray. Jonathan Bernier will play the second half. Drew Doughty is making his preseason debut in this game after signing a new long-term deal late last week.

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.04.2011 / 9:31 AM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Kings of Europe

Kings on alert for upset bid

The result was impossible to miss. It seemed everyone in Germany knew by Tuesday morning that the New York Rangers had lost Monday's preseason game against Swiss club HC Zug 8-4.

Not only was it talked about by the Los Angeles Kings, but it served as a valuable reminder that the Hamburg Freezers, the Kings' opponent in Tuesday's preseason finale, also will be looking for a headline-grabbing win against an elite NHL team.

"From their standpoint, it's an exciting game," Kings captain Dustin Brown told NHL.com. "For us, it is a game we are expected to win. It's almost a lose/lose situation for us. But the game can't be about the score for us, it has to be about preparing ourselves to open the season against the Rangers.

"For an exhibition game, I'm sure it will be intense."

Kings coach Terry Murray has to walk that fine line between trying to win the game as a confidence-builder for his club, while also making decisions that best will prepare his club for when it starts the regular season Friday against the Rangers in Stockholm (1 p.m. ET VERSUS, TSN).

"We are going to approach the game the right way emotionally," Murray told NHL.com. "We want to make sure we play hard and get our team and structure in order so we are ready for opening night against the Rangers. Again, it will be a professional approach with good tempo and good pace."

But, there is the chance for a loss in that scenario -- especially with the game being played on an Olympic-sized sheet that is far more familiar to the home side.

"We have all been through these kinds of scenarios before, whether you are a player or a coach," Murray said. "You get into these games where, as you mentioned, it can be a lose/lose (scenario) where if you don't win by a 10-0 score then there is something wrong with your performance. We're looking at as an important game.

"It's an exhibition game that we have to go out and play the right way and make sure our system is in place and coming at it with the right team attitude to get things prepared for the first game. We'll play our best and let the game unfold from there."

Franchise defenseman Drew Doughty will make his 2011-12 debut Tuesday against the Freezers. He knows it will have a bit more zip than a traditional NHL preseason game, but he welcomes the challenge as he prepares for the start of the season.

"We know that they are going to come out hard and try their best to beat us," Doughty told NHL.com. "We can't take them lightly. If we do that, there is a good chance that we'll get beat."

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.04.2011 / 9:06 AM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Kings of Europe

Kings adopt hybrid lineup for Freezers game

While Los Angeles coach Terry Murray wants to treat Tuesday's 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere Challenge game against the Hamburg Freezers at their O2 World Arena as a regular-season game, he knows he will have to make a few concessions.

Tuesday morning, Murray said he would ice as close to his opening-night lineup as possible -- with a few significant alterations.

The biggest one comes courtesy of the expanded roster limits in the European leagues. With the ability to go beyond the NHL's 20 dressed players, Murray said he'll dress 22 for Tuesday's game. Both extras will be defensemen as the Kings try to limit the minutes played by Drew Doughty, who will be making his debut after just two full practices with the team.

"We're going to dress eight defensemen -- 22 guys," Murray told NHL.com. "That's kind of nice because Doughty is coming back and this will be his first opportunity to get some ice time with the team. This will allow him to get into the lineup without playing those 27 or 28 minutes and that is a good thing. Other than that, we'll have pretty much a full lineup."

Up front, Dustin Penner is the only veteran sitting out.

"But that just gives a young player the opportunity to play in another game," Murray said.

In goal, Murray said Jonathan Quick and Jonathan Bernier will split time in the game so each can get a final tune-up before Friday's season opener in Stockholm. 
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Quote of the Day

It's really exciting. I'm pretty sure that when I play my first game I'm going to be emotional. To be back on the ice playing a game, being in game situations, with all the routines and rituals I do before games and during the game, I feel like I'm going to be emotional. I'm going to be really happy.

— Montreal Canadiens forward Tim Bozon on playing for the first time since his life-threaning illness