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by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
The Kings practiced on Friday following a day off for Thanksgiving.

“I just had to eat,” Dustin Brown said of his Turkey Day duties. “I kind of just relaxed. Things are kind of rough around here right now and it is good to get away and refocus.”

Head Coach Marc Crawford on Friday discussed the injury situation on his club. Injured forward Raitis Ivanans, who has missed the last seven games, is expected to play Saturday at San Jose. Kyle Calder, who has missed the last eight games due to a thumb injury will be a "game-time decision."

"There's some limitations in what I can and can't do with the way I shoot and a couple things like that, so I'll have to figure out how to work around it," Calder said of his thumb injury, which requires him to wear a cast.

Crawford was a bit more optimistic.

"They looked good today," Crawford told reporters. "If they look like that tomorrow, there's a very good chance they will play."

That is the good news.

The bad news is that Crawford ruled out forwards Alexander Frolov and Scott Thornton for this weekend’s games vs. San Jose on Saturday and Anaheim on Sunday. Frolov, who is battling a groin injury sustained at Anaheim last Thursday, has not been practicing with the team and only playing games and will take the next couple of days to rest the injury.

"It's always bad when you have to miss games with an injury," Frolov said. "I don't like it. That's why I tried to keep playing. But I think it's sometimes better to take a few games off and get back in the lineup healthy."

Thornton suffered a bruised sternum during his fourth shift at Phoenix on Wednesday and did not play the rest of the game.

A big reason for the Kings struggles of late has been on the power play. Over the last five games in which the Kings have posted an 0-4-1 mark, Los Angeles has converted on just 3-of-27 power plays (11 percent). Over the Kings first 16 games, in which LA posted an 8-8-0 mark, the Crownshirts converted on 17-of-79 power play attempts (22 percent).

"The key to our last five games is that our power play has not been as effective as it was earlier in the year," Captain Rob Blake told reporters on Friday. "We rely on that because we draw a lot of penalties and we do not take that many and your power play has to be effective. When you get power play chances, you need to bury those.

"You are going to go through stretches like this; you hope it doesn’t last for four or five game stretches."

When asked what the Kings need to do to get the power play going again, Blake added: "We need to generate more shots from all over. That is the easiest solution for when things are not going well. Just throw more pucks at the net until they start going in and will open up other chances."

For the season, Los Angeles is 13th in the NHL with a power play that is successful 18.87% of the time, converting on 20-of-106 attempts.

"If you look at the top teams in the league, I bet you they are all in the top percentage on the power play. We have slipped the past few games in that area."

Last season the Kings struggled on the penalty kill finishing 30th in the NHL surrendering 91 goals on 411 shorthanded opportunities for a 77.86% kill rate. This season the Kings are 27th on the PK, killing penalties at a 77.11% clip.

The Kings, however, have cut down on their power play goals allowed…the reason, less penalties. Los Angeles ranks first in the NHL with 228 PIMs in 21 games or 10.9 per game.

On Thanksgiving, the Washington Capitals fired head coach Glen Hanlon after the Capitals sputtered to a 6-14-1 start to the season, replacing him on an interim basis with Hershey Bears head coach Bruce Boudreau.

Boudreau won his debut 4-3 in OT over Philadelphia on Nicklas Backstrom’s game-winning goal on Friday. Boudreau was the first coach in Manchester Monarchs’ history, leading the team for four seasons starting in 2001 until being fired after the 2004-05 season, compiling a 169-100-51 record with the club advancing to the playoffs in each season.

Current Kings Michael Cammalleri, Derek Armstrong and Dustin Brown all played for Boudreau during their time in the American Hockey League.

He takes over a club that was 6-14-1 for 13 points, four fewer than any other team in the league through Wednesday. It's also Washington's lowest 21-game point total since having 12 in the 1981-82 season. Hanlon leaves his first NHL head coaching job with a 78-123-9-29 record.

"I'm going to make the best of it," Boudreau told the Union Leader on Thursday. "You're at the highest level that you can play in the world," Boudreau added. "It's a challenge for everybody."

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