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NOTES FROM THE PRESS BOX (MARCH 3)

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings

The Kings trailed 3-0 and 4-2 before staging a wild comeback as Michal Handzus scored with less than four minutes remaining, Anze Kopitar tied the game with 14 seconds left and Handzus then won it with his second career hat trick 1:31 into over time and the Kings prevailed, 5-4.

"For us it’s two points so it’s the most important thing," Handzus said. "We are scrambling and we needed two points.  It wasn’t the best game we ever played, but we won and that’s what’s most important right now.

"When we are down two or three goals that’s our game, we play desperate and start to put the puck toward the net, we start skating and you saw what happened.  We got a couple of lucky bounces but we put it in the net.  That’s what you have to do for 60 minutes to win more games."

HATS OFF TO HANDZUS
Handzus scored at 15:41 of the second period, 16:42 of the third period and then 1:31 of over time for his second career hat trick (his last came Dec. 23, 2000). It was the Kings second hat trick of the season (Dustin Brown 12/11/08 vs. St. Louis) and the 166th in Kings history. The OT goal was the second OT goal scored by the Kings this season (also Handzus 10/17/08 vs. CAR) and the 69th in Kings History.

THE NEW LINES
With the trade of Patrick O'Sullivan, head coach Terry Murray unveiled a new set of lines for the Kings on Thursday as Los Angeles played host to Dallas:
Alexander Frolov - Anze Kopitar - Teddy Purcell
Michal Handzus - Oscar Moller - Dustin Brown
Kyle Calder - Jarret Stoll - Wayne Simmonds
Brad Richardson - Derek Armstrong - Peter Harrold

THIS AND THAT
Handzus and Frolov scored 33 seconds apart in the second period...Handzus' first goal was scored on his 1,000th career NHL shot...Quincey continues to lead the Kings in special teams scoring with 2-23=25...Kopitar extended his point streak to three games, 2-2=4...The Kings have scored a power-play goal in 17 of the last 20 games...(The Kings were 14-for-47 over the last 10 games on the power play, entering tonight)...The last time the Kings trailed by three goals in a game and won was Nov. 10, 2007 vs. Dallas (trailed 4-0 and won 6-5 in OT)...The Stars took four penalties in a 3:08 span in the third period (14:28 to 17:36)...The Kings have scored with the goalie pulled in three of their last four home games (Feb. 14 vs. Edmonton and Feb. 16 vs. Atlanta)...Alexander Frolov (1-2=3) had his second three-point game this season (other came Feb. 16 vs. Atlanta)...Anze Kopitar (1-2=3) had his fifth three-point game of the season...The Kings out-shot Dallas 21-3 in the third period (21 shots tied season high, also 21 shots Dec. 23 at Columbus)...The Kings had 10 power plays tonight, a season high.

JUSTIN GETS CROWNED
Justin Williams joined the Kings and greeted the media during intermission. Here is what the newest King had to say.

Video

(Re: Being traded to the Kings): "I think whenever anyone is traded it’s highly unlikely that they knew about it beforehand, and that was the case for me. I was definitely shocked, especially because I was on the injured reserve list. I really didn’t expect it, but these things happen and they come as a shock and most of the time they work out for the best."

(Re: Status of his hand injury): "I just met with the Kings’ doctors here and got an X-ray. I’ll see a specialist tomorrow and then from there we’ll make a decision on what the game plan is going to be. It will be three weeks this weekend, and broken bone time tables are pretty set at four to six weeks recovery. I’m hoping to get back as soon as I can and help the team. I’ll be starting to skate soon, and I’m definitely sick of the stationary bike. There are always ways around injuries for keeping yourself in shape, but albeit there’s nothing like skating, there’s nothing like game play. You can just simulate as best you can. But I’m excited and ready to get back out there. Unfortunately it’s going to take a little bit of time but it won’t be long before I’m back out there."

(Re: Williams’ past injuries): "I feel things happen in three’s and I’ve had three straight injuries after some pretty good runs. I’m looking to getting back to being healthy and I know I’m not far away from doing that. When I am, I’m going to be a good asset to this team."

(Re: Familiarity with the Kings’ staff): "I think whenever you do come to a new team and you see some familiar faces it makes the adjustment period a lot easier for a new player coming in. Having Ron Hextall pick me up from the airport and being familiar with Dean Lombardi and the management here makes me a lot more comfortable. I don’t know as many of the guys as I’d like to, but that will come. I’m excited to be a part of a young team here."

(Re: Playing a 30-goal season): "I’ve got plenty of those seasons left in me, I’m only 27. My best years are hopefully right ahead of me. The skill is there and I know I’m going to get a great opportunity here to further my career and be successful. I’m going to get an opportunity to play with some really good players with a lot of enthusiasm and that will result in a lot of good play."

(Re: Leadership on the team): "I am 27 years old, and when they told me that I was coming here and I was going to be one of the older guys, I had to take that back a little bit and realize that I am going to be a more of a veteran on this team. I’m going to be one of the older guys with a few more games and a little bit more experience. But I’m just looking to be myself, I’m not looking to be anyone I’m not. I’m very respectful, a very blue-collar guy who you know you’re going to get every night. Hopefully that will brush off to some younger guys on the team."

(Re: Playing in the Western Conference): "I think a few years ago the conferences were different, but now they have molded together and they are kind of similar. Where the west seemed like it was wide open, it doesn’t seem that way anymore. I’m just really excited to come here and just to see the youthful enthusiasm even though I’ve only been here a couple of hours. You can just feel it with the guys in the dressing room and I’m excited to be a part of that."

(Re: Traveling on road trips): "I wouldn’t worry about it myself, you have teams close now and no one flies commercial anymore. Travel is going to be a little bit longer than what I’m used to, but definitely not something that’s going to hinder anyone’s performance."

(Re: Style of play): "I bring a hard two-way game. I work as hard in the offensive zone as I do in the defensive zone. We have a lot of players that are similar to that affect. I’m a guy who has scored 30 goals in a season a couple of times and I know I can get there again. I’m going to work hard and contribute offensively. I’m going to be, I guess, an older guy in the dressing room for a little bit of leadership, which to me is going to be a change but it is something I’m going to welcome."

(Re: Being traded to LA): "I just got here a couple of hours ago. It’s a whirlwind 24 hours when you get traded. You get told, you get shipped out, you come over here and it’s not exactly a 45-minute flight—it’s cross-country. I’m in a hotel now and we’ll see how the rest of the season plays out here. I’m looking to set some roots and be here for a while. I’ve actually worked out and trained here in Los Angeles for two summers about three of four years ago [with Chelios’ group] so I’m kind of familiar with the area. Coming to a team that is on such an uphill climb in that they are really going places, and things are looking in the right direction and everything seems so positive, that’s what made me excited. Being familiar with everyone here and knowing that I have an opportunity myself to be a part of that, that’s what I’m most excited about, that I’ll be relied upon and part of hopefully a core of this team that stays together for a while."

HOCKEYWOOD
"Scene" in the crowd tonight: Cole Hauser from "KVille", and "The Break Up, " Christian Slater, star of many movies and sitcoms, most recently NBC's "My Own Worst Enemy" and actors Jonathan Silverman and Jennifer Finnegan. As always, visit our celebrity page on LAKings.com, Hockeywood for video and photo galleries of your favorite famous Kings fans.

QUOTES
KINGS HEAD COACH TERRY MURRAY:
(Re game recap): "I’ve said many times this year that the power play can win you games and the penalty kill can lose you games.  This was the perfect example.  The first three power plays we had in the first period were critical and I was nervous about that; nothing happened on them.  Our penalty killing was pretty good, we had a big kill in the third period and then the power play came alive and it ended up winning the game."

(Re: Kings’ start) "I liked the start.  Coming back after the road trip, I liked the start.  There was good intensity, good emotion.  There was a good flow to the game.  We ended up with three power plays and maybe that looks like there was not a lot happening because we didn’t score on it, but I liked the way we started the game.  Everybody was ready to go after this trip and it’s something that everybody has to prepare for by themselves to make sure that they are because Dallas, to me, is a rested team."  

(Re: upcoming games) "We’ve got two more games at home and we’ve got to keep pushing.  We want to keep this attitude and give ourselves an opportunity to make the playoffs.  It’s still within our grasp and I think we’re going to determine our own outcome in that by how we’re going to play, but this keeps it going, keeps it alive."

KINGS FORWARD ANZE KOPITAR:
(Re on Michal Handzus):  "He’s huge.  He and Jarret are really good on faceoffs and he’s really huge on the penalty kill.  He did a lot of dirty work in front of the net and especially on the power play.  He really came through and he’s really been valuable for our team this whole year.

(Re Playoff hopes):  Absolutely.  We’re a desperate hockey club.  When we’re desperate we play really good hockey.  We’re going to take it game by game and see where it leads us".

DALLAS HEAD COACH DAVE TIPPETT:
(Re: game recap):"With our line-up right now we’re relying on a lot of young guys, but were also relying on veteran players to make sure that they can stabilize our group.  When you have Parrish, Robidas and Turco taking penalty after penalty in the last five minutes, you’re shooting yourself in the foot and that’s what exactly what we did.  They got some bounces at the end, but Marty was so tired at the end that he couldn’t even crouch down, and we brought it all upon ourselves. It was a very disappointing loss and that’s the way it is."

DALLAS DEFENSEMAN STEPHANE ROBIDAS:
(Re: game recap): "There were a lot of penalties.  Personally I took a bad penalty in the third.  It’s a tough one, especially with a lead four and a half, five minutes to go in the third, a two goal lead.  We certainly don’t want to play like that.  We have to find a way to stay disciplined and I have to find a way to keep my stick on my ice and a way to stay out of the box.  The Kings want to make the playoffs, they are a young team. They are making a push for it and were a team where everyone has to chip in and if you play the system and stay discipline and play hard, that’s the only way were going to win.  It’s not going to stop, everyone is in the race and everyone wants to win.  It’s not going to get any easier, but we have to learn from it.  It’s a tough one to learn, but we have to get the best out of it and move ahead."

DALLAS DEFENSEMAN MARK FISTRIC:
(Re: game recap): "I think its just a matter of playing our game.  We got away from it and we took a lot of penalties that we shouldn’t have, and we put ourselves behind.  It’s really disappointing.  Every point matters.  We blew the two points that we wanted, but we have a game tomorrow and we have to be prepared because every game from here on in counts.  I have to find a way to protect Turco as best I can without taking penalties."

 

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