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Features

Intense Sutter again guiding hand in Kings' Cup run

Saturday, 06.14.2014 / 2:03 AM / Kings vs Rangers - 2014 Stanley Cup Final

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell sported a wide grin before offering two words when asked earlier this week what separates coach Darryl Sutter from other coaches.

"Intense dude," he said, shaking his head for emphasis.

"He wants everyone to get the proper focus; that's the biggest thing," Mitchell added. "You're always prepared. He's a master motivator, knows when to push the buttons and how to push the buttons. Sometimes you don't like it, but look at his track record … it works."


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Cup-winner was longest game in Kings history

Saturday, 06.14.2014 / 1:32 AM / Kings vs Rangers - 2014 Stanley Cup Final

NHL.com

The longest game in Los Angeles Kings history produced the sweetest reward.

Alec Martinez's goal 14:43 into the second overtime Friday gave the Kings a 3-2 victory against the New York Rangers in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final, wrapping up their second championship in three seasons. It also ended the longest game in franchise history.

The Kings' previous longest game came last spring, when they were eliminated by the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final on a goal by Patrick Kane at 11:40 of the second overtime.


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Fantastic finish for Kings' tandem of Toffoli, Pearson

Saturday, 06.14.2014 / 12:50 AM / Kings vs Rangers - 2014 Stanley Cup Final

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

There was a time not too long ago when Los Angeles Kings forwards Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson snarled at one another as opponents in the Ontario Hockey League.

On Friday night, the two rookies got the chance to raise the Stanley Cup on the ice at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The Kings defeated the New York Rangers 3-2 in double overtime in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final to win the best-of-7 series. Toffoli got the primary assist on Alec Martinez's Cup-winning goal.

It was a run through the Stanley Cup Playoffs the rookie tandem will never forget.

"If someone told me this was the way my career would go, I would have taken it in a heartbeat," Pearson said prior to Game 4 of the Cup Final.

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Kings' trip to the Stanley Cup wasn't a smooth one

Saturday, 06.14.2014 / 12:30 AM / Kings vs Rangers - 2014 Stanley Cup Final

Jon Lane - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Los Angeles Kings' journey to winning the Stanley Cup for the second time in three seasons was anything but scenic. In fact, their run was all but over at the beginning when they trailed the San Jose Sharks 3-0 in the Western Conference First Round.

It was during those dire predicaments, however, where the Kings are the most dangerous. Los Angeles rallied to beat the Sharks, becoming the fourth team in NHL history to win a best-of-7 series after trailing 3-0.

The heavy lifting didn't end with their first-round escape. The next two series each went the seven-game distance, against the Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks. The Kings became the first team in League history to play all 21 possible games in the first three rounds and advance to the Cup Final, and also the first to win three Game 7s on the road in one postseason.

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Wheat Kings' Quenneville, Hawryluk surge up ranks

Friday, 06.13.2014 / 11:59 PM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Forwards John Quenneville and Jayce Hawryluk have gained accolades playing different styles, but there's no denying the chemistry exhibited as linemates in the turnaround of the Brandon Wheat Kings in 2013-14.

Each player no doubt bolstered his draft stock during the second half of the season and is a prime candidate to be selected in the early rounds of the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on June 27-28.

"Prior to the home stretch, both players had missed time due to injury and it was impressive to NHL scouts how both of them elevated their game throughout the playoffs to lead their team," NHL Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr told NHL.com. "It bodes quite well for Brandon's future to have two high-character players that can lead them both on the ice and on the score sheet."

Quenneville, second cousin to Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, is No. 23 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of the top North American skaters eligible for the draft. Hawryluk is No. 37.

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U.S. to host summer junior camp in Lake Placid

Friday, 06.13.2014 / 3:56 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

NHL.com

USA Hockey will host its annual summer junior evaluation camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., from Aug. 2-9. The camp is one of the first steps toward the building the roster for the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Approximately 45 players will be invited to the camp, which will feature practices and exhibition games against Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic. The players will split into two teams, USA White and USA Blue; the roster will be trimmed after three days and the remaining players will be combined onto one team.

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Morrissey's season-long odyssey nears end in AHL

Friday, 06.13.2014 / 1:56 PM / AHL Update

Alyssa Dombrowski - Special to NHL.com

During the 2013-14 season, 19-year-old Josh Morrissey's storied journey on the ice has taken him from Winnipeg Jets training camp to a Western Hockey League campaign in Prince Albert, the World Junior Championship in Sweden, and now the American Hockey League's Calder Cup Finals with the St. John's IceCaps.

"Quite honestly, it's all happened so fast that it hasn't really sunk in yet," said Morrissey, who made his professional debut with the IceCaps, Winnipeg's top development affiliate, at the end of the regular season after the Raiders were eliminated from the WHL playoffs. "Along the way in your career, you don't have that many chances to win championships at any level, so I'm trying to take it all in, enjoy every day and do whatever I can to try and win."

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Core of USNTDP defense a talented, close-knit group

Friday, 06.13.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Individually, defensemen Jack Dougherty, Jack Glover, Jonathan MacLeod and Ryan Collins did well for the United States National Team Development Program Under-18 team this season.

Together, they elevated each other and capped their season with a gold medal at the 2014 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.

That togetherness carried them through a stressful time that saw them under the microscope of NHL scouts.

"It's always fun to have teammates around," MacLeod said. "Gives you a little bit of reassurance that you got some buddies here to support you and you support them."

Each of the four brought something different to the table.

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Rangers defenseman Stralman quietly gets job done

Thursday, 06.12.2014 / 11:08 PM / Kings vs Rangers - 2014 Stanley Cup Final

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES -- Now that enough time has passed since the New York Rangers changed coaches, it's obvious some players have enjoyed more success playing for Alain Vigneault than they did for John Tortorella.

Ryan McDonagh blossomed into a No. 1 defenseman and a fringe Norris Trophy candidate. Chris Kreider became a regular up front and an important offensive weapon.

The player who might end up prospering the most from the change is defenseman Anton Stralman. Not only has Stralman been given more responsibility by the new coaching staff, he's become a key player for a Stanley Cup finalist because of his ability to play well in those situations.

"I think this is obviously his best year since he came to New York," Rangers forward Carl Hagelin said. "The coaches have a lot of confidence in him, and you can see how he's growing throughout the year. ... He's not going to be a flashy player but he's always finding ways to break the puck out pretty smoothly. He's a good skater. He's finding ways, even when the forecheck is hard on him. He will pivot off guys and find a way to break out.

"He's showed a lot of improvement over the year too. Maybe that's all it takes, is some more confidence and you can do the things you want to do on the ice and make the plays you know you can make. He's not a guy who gets too down on himself. He benefited from the change for sure."

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Dorsett: Rangers eager to get right back on the ice

Thursday, 06.12.2014 / 10:36 PM / Player's Blog with the Rangers' Derek Dorsett

Derek Dorsett - Special to NHL.com

New York Rangers forward Derek Dorsett will be blogging for NHL.com throughout the Stanley Cup Final, offering his insight on what is happening inside the walls of his team's locker room and within the confines of the rink.

LOS ANGELES -- We did what we had to do last night. We got the win. And now we have to stick with the same mentality.

It's all cliché, I know, but our backs really are up against the wall and we really do have to take it one game at a time. We have to have the same mentality we had going into Game 4. We have to make sure we're focused, prepared and rested so we can make sure we keep our season going.

I don't think we played our best game of the series in Game 4. None of us do. But sometimes that's the way it works in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Hank [goaltender Henrik Lundqvist] stood on his head for us. He was great. Now we have to forget what happened and come with our best game tomorrow.


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Quote of the Day

My focus is always just to play as well as I can and do my job, no matter where the faceoff is.

— New York Rangers forward Carl Hagelin on using his speed to his advantage
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