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Kings on alert for upset bid

Tuesday, 10.04.2011 / 9:31 AM

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

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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 "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 "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 "We can't take them lightly. If we do that, there is a good chance that we'll get beat."

Quote of the Day

Life's about opportunity and how you respond to that opportunity, and obviously he must have some swagger about him, some confidence about him, because he was solid. He made some good saves. He was 6-foot-3 on every shot, which is a good thing for a goalie. He played well. We got a win.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on rookie goaltender Garret Sparks, who made 24 saves in his first NHL start, a 3-0 win vs. Oilers
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