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ROYAL ROAD REPORT: SIMMONDS SIZZLES

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
Edmonton - Despite a 4-1 loss to the Calgary Flames on Monday night, the Kings came out strong in the second game of their back-to-back set Tuesday night and managed a 2-1 win to spoil the Oilers’ playoff hopes.


The Kings (33-36-11) got off to a quick start when Alexander Frolov opened the scoring 55 seconds into the game with assists by Wayne Simmonds and Davis Drewiske, his first NHL point. The Kings proceeded to go up 2-0 after the first five minutes of the game on a desperate Oilers (37-34-9) team and managed to weather the storm to pick up the win.

The Kings will try to build some end-of-season momentum as they finish their road trip in Vancouver on Thursday night and end the season at home versus the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.

SIMMONDS SIZZLES
Nineteen-year-old rookie Wayne Simmonds continued his hot play after breaking out of a 10-game goalless stretch Monday night vs. Calgary. He had a goal and an assist on the night.

"I think we’ve been a bit lackadaisical lately early in the game and tonight we came out and got two goals within the first three or four shifts," Simmonds said.

Simmonds was so focused that he wasn’t too concerned with the fate of the Oilers.

"We weren’t really worried on what they were doing…we just came focused on our own game," he said.

After the game, Simmons was asked about a story that he got lost in the STAPLES Center early on in the season and set the record straight.

"STAPLES Center is huge…I had to have someone help me find where I was going," he explained.

He ended up in the visitor’s dressing room.

RICHARDSON RELISHING ROLE
The 25-year-old forward was one of many Kings who was fast out of the gate after a team meeting about the loss to Calgary.

"You just try to play well, do your thing and hopefully you get more ice time as you go," Richardson said.

"We’re a good team when we get the puck below the goal line," Richardson said. "We talked about that a lot, those turnovers we had over the last few games."

Richardson played 12:06 minutes over 16 shifts in his 31st game of the year.

THE FUTURE IS LOOKING GREENE
Despite missing the playoffs in the 2008-09, the Kings feel that the future is bright and these last few games are no time to sit back. That was evident after the closed-door team meeting following the lost to Calgary.

"We talked about finishing out the year strong," defenseman Matt Greene said. "These three games are huge for us…we are just trying to make sure we have some good compete out there and play hard."

For Greene, that work ethic is what will bring good things or the club next season.

"(Future prospects) will translate through hard work and hopefully we can get some momentum going these last few games that will carry through the year," he said.

QUOTES
Brad Richardson
On the emotion of the game:
"There was. We were challenged and we wanted to rise up and bounce back from the Calgary game and I thought we did a pretty good job over all."

Matt Greene
On ending the Oilers' playoff hopes
"It’s just part of the game. We’re going for points here. We’re not going to lay down for anybody. Just another game for us."

Wayne Simmonds
On Patrick O'Sullivan
"I am actually. He’s a really good player. He played good tonight and I liked having him for a teammate."

On the future of the team
"I think we’ve got a good foundation to start with. We’ve just got to realize it and believe in ourselves…and I think we’ll be fine next year."—Simmons on the future of the team

NOTES
Davis Drewiske scored his first NHL point with an assist on LA’s first goal…Tonight’s game was the 170th meeting between the Kings and Oilers…LA is 57-78-34 versus Edmonton…Doughty’s 27 points are the most by a Kings rookie defenseman since Lubomir Visnovsky scored 39 points (7-32-39) in 2000-01.

Compiled by Nick Conrad | Special to LAKings.com
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