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.