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Category: Dustin Brown

Kings beat Columbus, 2-1, end five-game losing streak

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It took a veritable offensive explosion, but the Kings ended their five-game losing streak Thursday and got a win for interim Coach John Stevens when they scored twice in the third period and clawed out a 2-1 victory over the Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.

Davis Drewiske, with a point shot at 4:33 of the third period, and Dustin Brown, with the deflection of a shot by Drew Doughty at 8:12, provided enough offense for the Kings to edge the Blue Jackets, who rank 30th in the NHL.

Jeff Carter’s deflection of a bouncing puck at 16:43 of the second period had given Columbus a 1-0 lead, but Drewiske matched that at 4:33 of the third period with his first goal since Oct. 6, 2009. The Blue Jackets complained that Brown had interfered with goalie Curtis Sanford, and replays showed that Brown appeared to have elbowed the goalie with his left arm, but the goal stood.

The goal ended a scoring drought of 130 minutes and 35 seconds for the Kings, who still have not scored more than two goals in any of their last 10 games.

Goaltender Jonathan Quick stopped 24 shots for the Kings, who continue this trip Saturday at Detroit and Monday at Toronto. Darryl Sutter, presumed to be their next coach, is not expected to meet them on the trip but is expected to take over next Tuesday.

The Kings are 1-1 under Stevens, who replaced Terry Murray on Monday. Stevens is expected to return to his duties as an assistant coach when Sutter takes over.

Center Mike Richards (head injury) is scheduled to join the team in Detroit, but it's unclear if he will play in either of the last two games of the trip.

Check back later for more coverage at www.latimes.com/sports

ALSO:

Kings-Blue Jackets summary

Kings' struggles continue in 3-0 loss to Bruins

Ducks defeat Phoenix Coyotes, 4-1, as Nik Hagman scores twice

-- Helene Elliott, reporting from Columbus, Ohio

Photo: Kings defenseman Drew Doughty controls the puck while being chased by Columbus forwards Derek MacKenzie, left, and Jared Boll, right, during the Kings' 2-1 victory Thursday. Credit: Russell LaBounty / U.S. Presswire

Kings after deadline: Power play moves, Voynov and Hickey earn praise

Kings6 The Kings figured out something that almost anyone watching their power play most of last season could have told them:

When they stand around and become predictable, they’re not going to score.

They had more moving parts Wednesday and capitalized on a man advantage for their only goal in a 2-1 shootout loss in a split-squad game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Staples Center.

Mike Richards flicked the puck toward Dustin Brown in front, and the gritty right wing battled for it while it was at his feet. Defenseman Viatcheslav (Slava) Voynov had come deep into the zone and was able to poke it past goalie Justin Pogge at 5:53 of the second period.

“I think from the power play standpoint we need more of that,” Brown said.

He also said that while it’s tough to maintain movement on the power play it’s worth the effort because it confuses opponents’ penalty killers.

“When you have a moving power play with people at the net at the same time it’s pretty tough to defend. You can get mixed up in your assignments,” he said. “Tonight we had good movement. We weren’t stationary. I think looking back at last year we were too stationary. We had their half-wall guy, we had a low guy and we had a net-front guy. That was it.

“I prefer in front of the net but there were a couple of times I’m on the half-wall and just kind of slide out and give it to a guy and go to the net and that creates movement, which is tough for a [penalty killer].”

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Kings' Westgarth saddened by deaths of fellow enforcers

Westgarth_250 Emptying the digital recorder after Sunday’s Hockey Fest event held by the Kings at Staples Center....

The deaths of enforcers Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak since May have stunned the NHL and resonated especially deeply with Kings forward Kevin Westgarth.

Westgarth, who has three assists and 114 penalty minutes in 65 career NHL games, said he can “empathize with the various struggles and the roller coaster it can be” to be a tough guy and said he felt sorry for the families each player left behind.

“I’ve been extremely lucky. It’s just an incredible tragedy,” he said Sunday. “I’m in essentially the same role as those guys. It’s not hugely different.

“It kind of makes you look in the mirror. It’s awful. And it does hit a little closer to home and it’s just really confusing.”

Boogaard’s death was attributed to an accidental and toxic mix of alcohol and the painkiller oxycodone. His family donated his brain to a Boston University study on the effects of repeated brain trauma.

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NHL Awards: Kings' Dustin Brown wins NHL Foundation award, Martin St. Louis wins Lady Byng

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Pace slower at NHL awards. Hit a new low with presenters from Real Housewives of somewhere who mispronounced name of Lady Byng winner, Martin St. Louis.

Ducks winger Teemu Selanne finished sixth in voting for Lady Byng, given for gentlemanly play. Kings center Anze Kopitar was 10th and Ducks defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky was 13th.

New high hit when Kings captain Dustin Brown won NHL Foundation award for helping community. Congrats to Dustin and wife Nicole, who do a lot for kids by building playgrounds, visiting Children's Hospital L.A., and other endeavors.

Doug Weight won the King Clancy award for community service.

Coming up: the Vezina for best goaltender. Tim Thomas vs. Roberto Luongo again…

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NHL goes to Las Vegas for awards show


-- Helene Elliott

Photo: Dustin Brown. Credit: Cary Edmondson / U.S. Presswire.

NHL goes to Las Vegas for awards show tonight

Awards1 Long speeches ... cheesy jokes ... sounds like a Hollywood awards show, but not quite.

The NHL will hand out its major individual awards Wednesday night at The Palms in Las Vegas, honoring players, the coach of the year and the general manager of the year. Versus will televise the festivities starting at 4 p.m. PDT and will have a post-event show too.

Among those scheduled to present awards are big-time producer Jerry Bruckheimer, “Mad Men” star Jon Hamm, illusionist Criss Angel, actresses Jennifer Beals and Cobie Smulders and directors Jason Reitman and Kevin Smith, as well as — quoting the NHL’s press release here -- “the legendary Donny Osmond.”

Here’s a recap of who’s nominated for what and who's favored. Remember: Voting was conducted before the playoffs, so postseason achievements aren't taken into account.

Adams (coach of the year): Dan Bylsma of Pittsburgh, Barry Trotz of Nashville, Alain Vigneault of Vancouver. Favored: Vigneault guided the Canucks to the NHL's top record and, later, to the Stanley Cup finals.

Hart (most valuable player): Corey Perry of the Ducks, Daniel Sedin of Vancouver, Martin St. Louis of Tampa Bay. Favored: Sedin, who also won the scoring title. But Perry's remarkable second-half surge got him a lot of votes.

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Kings seek another upturn after up-and-down season

Dustin-brown_225 A year ago, simply making the playoffs was enough of an accomplishment for the Kings after an eight-year absence from postseason play.

When this season began they considered making the playoffs to be the jumping-off point for their larger goal of making an impact in the chase for the Stanley Cup.

That could still happen if they erase the Sharks’ 3-2 series lead Monday at Staples Center and carry the series back to San Jose for a winner-take-all seventh game Wednesday. But Monday’s game will be the second straight time the Kings will have faced elimination in this series, keeping them on a tightrope with no safety net below.

They navigated that perilous situation in winning Game 5 at San Jose on Saturday but needed goaltender Jonathan Quick’s 51-save performance to do it. They’ll have to do it again Monday at Staples, where the Sharks won the third and fourth games of the series last week.

“It’s maybe been the underlying theme of this team this year,” said right wing Dustin Brown, the Kings’ captain. “We had a great start and then we put ourselves behind the eight-ball a third of the way through the season, and then we do it again another third of the way through the season, and we found a way to battle back.

“You’ve got to try to take the positives out of our resiliency this year. That might come into play in this series. We got Game 5, we’re back on home ice. We’ve just got to take it really one shift at a time, one period at a time and go from there.”

They've had to be resilient in this series, too. After losing the opener in overtime, they recovered to win the second game, 4-0. After absorbing a crushing defeat at home in Game 3 -- in which they squandered a 4-0 lead before losing in overtime, 6-5 -- and then losing Game 4 as well, they came back for a 3-1 win at San Jose on Saturday.

"This has been a roller coaster of a series. We’ve been up, we’ve been down. We’ve blown leads. We’ve pretty much done everything," Brown said.

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Kings' Young Guns aiming for continued playoff success

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After defeating the Sharks at San Jose on Saturday to extend their first-round playoff series to a sixth game Monday night at Staples Center, the Kings say they’re calm and have a game plan that will get them to a seventh game Wednesday at HP Pavilion.

“We got our confidence up. We got the last one,” right wing Wayne Simmonds said. “I think we’ve just got to come home and kind of picture it as an away game and just play the same way and keep it simple, the same way as we do on the road.”

The Kings are 2-1 at San Jose but 0-2 at home after losing Games 3 and 4.

“Everyone feels good. We’re confident in ourselves,” Simmonds said. “We’ve had our bad games and we’ve had good games this year and I think we’ve learned from what we haven’t done right in all those bad games and we’re ready to do it right now.”

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Kings need quick turnaround--and a turnaround for Jonathan Quick--before they can celebrate

Lj5sh4nc In two of their last three games the Kings have unwittingly been a footnote to history.

In losing last Thursday at Vancouver they allowed the Canucks to clinch the President’s trophy and top overall seeding in the playoffs. On Monday their 6-1 loss at San Jose allowed the Sharks to clinch a fourth consecutive Pacific division title.

Neither experience was a happy one for the Kings.

“It’s not fun at all, especially Vancouver. We’ve had a pretty good rivalry against them the last little bit,” forward Brad Richardson said. “It’s never easy seeing that team beat you or clinch the league.”

The Kings hoped to do some clinching of their own Tuesday night. To secure a playoff spot they need to gain two points or to have Dallas fail to get two points in its last four games, and the Stars are at home Tuesday to face the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Kings next play Wednesday, when they face Phoenix at Staples Center.

Goaltender Jonathan Quick, who gave up four goals on 16 shots at San Jose before being replaced by Jonathan Bernier, is scheduled to start against the Coyotes.

“There is no conversation. Quick’s our No. 1 goaltender. He’s the guy that we’re riding,” Coach Terry Murray said after the team practiced Tuesday in El Segundo.

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Kings find formula for success with 2-0 victory at Edmonton

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The Kings’ 2-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers Tuesday at Rexall Place was a blueprint for the way they’ll have to play while leading scorers Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams recover from their respective injuries.

Players responded to the urgency of the situation and stepped up in ways that were subtle and obvious, producing a cohesive team victory that kept the Kings in the hunt for fourth place in the West. The Kings have won four straight games and have earned standings points in 10 of their last 11 games.

Center Trevor Lewis, promoted from a fourth-line checking role to a scoring role, set up team captain Dustin Brown twice and goaltender Jonathan Bernier stopped 32 shots to earn his third shutout this season and fourth of his career. The Oilers, who rank 30th in the NHL, are winless in their last 10 games and have scored more than two goals only once in that span.

The Kings killed two disadvantages and have neutralized 41 of their last 42 disadvantages. Their own power play was scoreless in four attempts, but that’s an old story.

The Kings have six games left starting with Friday’s game at Vancouver against the Canucks, who on Tuesday assured themselves of having the top point total in the West.

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Kings run out of comebacks and lose to Rangers in shootout, 4-3

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The Kings lost in a shootout for only the second time in nine chances this season, falling to the New York Rangers by a final of 4-3 before a lively crowd at Madison Square Garden.

The shootout loss extended the Kings' point streak to 11 games (8-0-3), tying a club record set in the 1973-74 season.

Eric Christensen and Mats Zuccarello -- the latter on an amazing slow-down decoy move -- scored on Jonathan Bernier in the shootout. Jarret Stoll scored the Kings' only goal, as he did in a shootout victory at Columbus on Wednesday. Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist stopped Anze Kopitar to clinch the victory for the Rangers.

The Kings are 5-0-3 in their stretch of 10 straight road games and next play Saturday on Long Island.

Playing for the second consecutive night, the Kings scored first Thursday, converting a power play at 5:25 of the second period for their first man-advantage goal in five games.

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Dustin Brown's slump isn't entirely pointless

Dustin_240 There are several ways to look at right wing Dustin Brown’s scoring slump, which had reached one for 15 and two for 21 before the Kings faced the Columbus Blue Jackets Wednesday at Nationwide Arena.

First, it’s remarkable that the Kings, who were riding a 7-0-2 surge, have been successful without recent contributions from their captain, who scored 24 goals each of the last two seasons and 33 goals in 2007-08. He has 18 goals and 39 points in 56 games, on pace to finish near the 24 goals and 56 points he recorded last season.

If they’re able to win without contributions from him, imagine what they might do if he rediscovers his scoring touch — and the Kings will need him to revive in order to continue piling up points and crack the top eight in the West.

Then there’s his attitude: Personal statistics don’t matter to him as long as the team is winning. To Brown it’s more important that Anze Kopitar is productive than for him to be filling the net himself.

“Every season there’s ups and downs. The month of December, I was on fire,” said Brown, who had seven goals and 19 points in 14 games in that month. “I think it’s different when Kopi’s in a goal-scoring slump. He’s relied upon heavily for offense. Not to say that I’m not, but I can find other ways to have impact on games, whether it’s being physical or just creating traffic.

"When you’re going through a slide or a tough slump, you try to get back to basics and do the things you do really well."

He played alongside Kopitar most of the season either on his natural right side or on the left, but Brown was recently switched to a new line alongside rookies Kyle Clifford and Andrei Loktionov.

"That’s a different role and an opportunity for me to help those young guys, especially at a key part of the season," said Brown, the old man of the line at 26. "They may not realize how big these games are just yet. We’re starting to get chances as a line after a couple games. For me personally I’ve just got to keep on trying to do all the little things right."

Coach Terry Murray acknowledged that moving Brown from one line to another "is never an easy task, either, for a player," but said he’s hopeful Brown will awaken soon.

"It’ll come for Brownie," Murray said. "I think his intensity and his emotional connection to every game is going to allow him to create some opportunities whether individually or through the line attacking together. So it is a frustrating time right now for him."

But not as bad as it would be if the team were less successful.

"We’re winning, so at the end of the day I could go pointless the rest of the year if we’re winning like this," Brown said. "It’s frustrating personally, but as a team when we’re winning I can put all that other stuff aside."

Check back later for details from the Kings' game against the Blue Jackets.

-- Helene Elliott, in Columbus, Ohio

Photo: Dustin Brown. Credit: Chuck Myers / MCT.

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