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NOTES FROM THE PRESS BOX (DEC. 26)

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
The Kings suffered a 2-1 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes on Friday night.


KINGS NEED TO SCORE FIRST...

With the loss, the Kings are now 1-10-4 when the opponent scores first, the worst mark in the league.

"Starting in the first period we hopefully need to get a lead in any one of these games is where we got to get to," head coach Terry Murray said. "The percentage of wins out of that first goal of the game is incredibly high. We have to find it, we have to figure that out."

The lone Kings win when the opponent scored first was versus So Cal rival Anaheim in the third game of the season on Oct. 14, winning 6-3 after the Ducks scored the first two goals of the game.

Murray also spoke of the Kings playing consistently for 60 minutes.

“Well you can’t play a game in the NHL and play only 20 minutes and expect to win, those days are done," Murray said. "You have to come and play right from the beginning, you have to play 60 minutes hard, intense, and very heavy hockey, and in the first two periods we were not going, we didn’t have it. The third period was what we needed for the 60 minutes.”

QUICK TO START AGAIN
Murray indicated that Jonathan Quick will get the start at Phoenix tomorrow.

Quick stopped 24-of-26 shots tonight vs. Phoenix, making a number of quality saves that kept the Kings in the game.

“The goaltender played very well," Murray said. "He made a couple very big stops, one on a two-on-one, we get caught and he made a tremendous save on that lateral move. He gave us a chance tonight, and he’s taking advantage of the opportunities he’s been given and we like what we see.”

Quick posted his first career shutout his last time out, stopping all 24 shots in the Kings 3-0 win over Columbus on Tuesday. Quick is 1-2-0 on the season with a 2.46 GAA and a .914 SV% in four games this season.

“It’s a great feeling. It shows the coach’s confidence in you," Quick said. "That’s a great feeling. I’m just trying to help out and do what I can to keep the team in the game.”

LINES STAY THE SAME, FOR THE MOST PART
The lines the Kings have been rolling with the last couple of games stayed in tact, with rookie Trevor Lewis on the No. 1 line with Anze Kopitar and Patrick O'Sullivan. Lewis had points in each of his two games on the line (1-1=2), a streak snapped tonight. Peter Harrold was back at the forward position on the fourth line and scored for the second straight game, albeit, while playing as a defenseman on the power play. He was joined with Teddy Purcell and Raitis Ivanans to start the game. The lines were jumbled a bit as the game progressed, however, with Purcell, Dustin Brown and Ivanans skating as a unit at some point in the third.

MONARCHS WIN MOVES THEM INTO FIFTH
Scott Parse, David Meckler and Bud Holloway scored for the Monarchs and Jonathan Bernier (7-8-2) earned his seventh win of the season with 24 saves on 25 shots in a 3-1 win over the Springfield Falcons on Friday night, a win that vaulted Manchester into fifth place.

WJC GETS STARTED
Check out LAKings.com's coverage of the 2008-09 World Junior Championships. Canada got off to a good start with an 8-2 win over the Czech Republic with Kings prospects Colten Teubert and Thomas Hickey (Captain) scoreless, both minus-1 with a shot each and zero PIM. Oscar Moller accumulated two PIM and five shots and was a -1 as Sweden defeated Finland, 3-1, while Viatcheslav Voynov had a goal and two shots on net and finished even in Russia's 4-1 win.

NOTES
The Kings are 3-11-1 (1-6-1 in the first and 2-5-0 in the second) in back-to-back games...The Kings play at Phoenix tomorrow...Wayne Gretzky's daughter, Paulina, sang the national anthem...Coyotes netminder Ilja Bryzgalov is now 6-0-0 against the Kings in his last six starts... Bryzgalov wore a holiday-themed mask tonight and for the next three games. After the game on Dec. 31, Bryzgalov will donate the mask to Coyotes Charities and it will be auctioned off...Olli Jokinen, Los Angeles' 1st round choice, 3rd overall, in 1997, assisted on the Coyotes second goal of the game. It was just Jokinen's third point (1-2=3) in nine games now against the Kings...Despite the loss, the Kings have still earned points in six of their last seven home games (3-1-3) and in 13 of their last 16 home games (8-3-5)...Harrold scored his second goal, equaling his total from last season... O’Sullivan now has 16 points in the last 18 games (6-10=16)...Kopitar now has 11 points in the last 11 games (5-6=11)... Kopitar won 13-of-18 faceoffs tonight (72 percent)... Through 35 games last year the Kings were 12-21-2, the Kings are 14-15-6 after tonight's loss.

QUOTES
KINGS FORWARD ANZE KOPITAR:

(Re: game recap):
“We were rusty in the first two [periods]. We didn’t play with as much energy as we did the last game in Columbus. Maybe it was because we had the two days off and we didn’t skate, but that shouldn’t be our excuse. Everybody should come here and be ready to go and it showed in this league. You have got to play 60 minutes, not just 20.”

(Re: Quick’s performance)

“He made some good saves and with a two-goal game going into the third, it’s pretty much anybody’s game. We scored one but we came up short with the second one.”

KINGS GOALTENDER JONATHAN QUICK:
(Re: game recap):
“ The team battled, we just came up a little short. These are games that we need to win, being division games it’s a four-point game. We’ve got to refocus and go back into Phoenix tomorrow and try to come out with a different outcome.”

COYOTES HEAD COACH WAYNE GRETZKY:
(Re: game recap):
”We’re pretty happy with where we are at right now.. A lot of hockey left but for our team to be at where we are right now in the standings, we play hard and it’s a fun group of kids and they work hard every night and we’ve had some tough games here and there, but all in all they’ve played hard every game and we are doing well in the standings right now.”

(Re: on Shane Doan):
“Shane has played very well – one of the best years I’ve seen him have. He’s a tremendous captain and has been a good leader for our group. It’s probably been the best hockey I’ve seen him play. It’s great to see him score some big goals. It’s definitely what a great leader does and he’s done a great job of it.”

COYOTES FORWARD SHANE DOAN:
(Re: game recap):
“We know we are a young team and we know we have to win especially when teams battle and the best way to do that is eliminate their opportunities and try to get as many as you can. They had a big power-play goal to get them going in the third and it made the last 10 minutes a lot more exciting.

(Re: where they are at in the standings):
This is what the fans want and this is what we’re in. It means so much – every single game. It’s great we’re taking steps in the right direction.” Post

Game Quotes Compiled By: Jason Barquero, Courtney Ports and Grace Coryell

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