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Category: Jonathan Bernier

No news on Doughty; ailing Simon Gagne to miss exhibition opener

Drew3 First, the obligatory Drew Doughty non-update update:

Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi said Tuesday he had not spoken to Don Meehan, who represents the unsigned restricted free agent. Lombardi also said that persistent rumors that he will trade Doughty are false. “There’s no way,” Lombardi said.

Some of those rumors appeared on Twitter on Monday from the account of someone impersonating Canadian Sportsnet personality Nick Kypreos, and Lombardi said he initially thought it was the real Kypreos coming up with those trade scenarios. Lombardi said he was irked until he was told the account didn’t belong to Kypreos.

The only other news Tuesday was that winger Simon Gagne was scratched from Wednesday’s split-squad game against Phoenix at Staples Center because of the flu. Gagne missed practice Tuesday and Coach Terry Murray said there was no reason to rush Gagne back.

Brad Richardson, who had been scheduled to travel to Glendale, Ariz., to play in the other split-squad game, instead stayed in Los Angeles and will play at Staples Center. Scott Parse skated alongside Mike Richards and Dustin Brown on Tuesday, with tryout player Cam Paddock on a line with Kyle Clifford and Jarret Stoll. However, Murray said he will have Parse with Stoll and Clifford on Wednesday and will put Richardson on the left side with Richards and Brown.

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Kings announce likely lineups for first exhibition games

Kings-logo_250 The Kings on Monday announced the expected lineups for their first exhibition games, a pair of split-squad contests Wednesday against the Phoenix Coyotes. One game will be played in Glendale, Ariz., and the other at Staples Center.

Goaltenders Jonathan Quick and Martin Jones are scheduled to play at Staples Center, where Mike Richards is expected to make his first appearance in a Kings uniform. Defensemen Thomas Hickey and Viatcheslav Voynov are also scheduled to play in Los Angeles, giving local fans a chance to evaluate two of the prime candidates to get more playing time while Drew Doughty remains unsigned.

Here are the expected lineups for Wednesday, subject to change:

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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' celebrations put on hold by 6-1 loss at San Jose

The Kings’ clinching a playoff berth was delayed again and their wretched performance Monday in a 6-1 loss to the Sharks at HP Pavilion in San Jose raised questions about how long they’ll last in the postseason when -- if? -- they get there.

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The Sharks scored four times in the second period to chase starting goaltender Jonathan Quick and turn a close game into a rout that allowed them to clinch the Pacific Division title and drop the Kings from fourth place to fifth in the Western Conference standings.

Six players scored a goal for the Sharks, who moved up to No. 2 in the West with 103 points, one ahead of Detroit. Quick gave up four goals on 16 shots before being replaced by Jonathan Bernier.

The Kings’ clinching number remains at two: any combination of two points they gain or two points that the Dallas Stars don’t gain will get the Kings into postseason play. The Stars play Columbus on Tuesday. The Kings’ next game is Wednesday at home against Phoenix.

The Sharks used their speed to shred the Kings’ defense time after time, and Quick’s lack of sharpness made matters all the worse. This had little to do with the absence of injured forwards Justin Williams and Anze Kopitar and everything to do with being overwhelmed by an opponent that was swift, smart and deep.

The Kings had a chance to secure a playoff berth Sunday but were foiled when Dallas defeated the Ducks. They weren’t just foiled Monday -- they were spanked.

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

RELATED:

Kings can clinch playoff spot with win at San Jose

Coach Terry Murray on 'NHL Overtime' talks about Kopitar, Vancouver

--Helene Elliott, reporting from San Jose

Photo: Kings center Michal Handzus scores the team's only goal against goaltender Antti Niemi and the Sharks in the second period Monday night at HP Pavilion in San Jose. Credit: Jason O. Watson / US Presswire

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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The wearing of the green (and purple) and get used to seeing Jonathan Quick

Jon_240 Jonathan Quick is scheduled to start in goal for the Kings Thursday against St. Louis at Staples Center -- and that will become a familiar sight as the Kings approach their final dozen regular-season games.

Quick had split starting time with Jonathan Bernier the last few weeks -- each started five of the last 10 games -- but with crunch time coming, Coach Terry Murray said the starts will be more heavily weighted toward Quick.

“It’s important to start to put the focus on one goaltender a little bit more now and that’s the plan and I’ll follow through with that plan if everything works out accordingly,” Murray said after Thursday’s game-day skate in El Segundo.

“I plan on using Quick more to get him ready. He’s been our No. 1 goaltender right from the beginning and that’s where I plan to go to.

“I want to say this though. Bernier, his game is real good right now. He’s sharp. His adjustment to the NHL shooter is progressing the right way. We’re real happy with how things are going.”

Murray also said he will use enforcer Kevin Westgarth on the fourth line in place of Brad Richardson.

“I just felt, looking at St. Louis’ lineup, I need Westgarth,” Murray said.

The Kings will wear green jerseys during the warm-ups and will auction the jerseys during the game and online at Lakings.com and Auction.nhl.com. Proceeds will benefit the Kings Care Foundation and the American Red Cross’ efforts in helping victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

-- Helene Elliott

 Photo: Jonathon Quick. Credit: Jerome Miron / U.S. Presswire.

Penner impresses teammates in Kings practice debut; Bernier to start Thursday

Penner1_600

Winger Dustin Penner, acquired by the Kings from Edmonton on Monday, fell in love with Southern California when he played for the Ducks and bought a summer home in Newport Beach. He didn’t expect to use his home during hockey season, but he spent Tuesday night there before participating in his first practice at the Kings’ El Segundo training facility.

“I drove up this morning just to check out and see how long it took. Not bad,” he said, estimating the travel time at about 45 minutes. “A lot shorter than some of the drives I had to Rexall from my place. That took an hour and 15 if there was light snow.”

No snow to worry about here, but traffic can be challenging. Lakers star Kobe Bryant also lives in Newport Beach and has a helicopter to ferry him to games. It was suggested that Penner might grab a ride in the ‘copter when Kobe isn’t using it.

“If he wants to carpool I’ll pay for gas,” Penner offered. “If it’s premium, maybe not.”

Penner’s first day on the ice with the Kings was taken up with learning a new system and the tendencies of his linemates, Anze Kopitar and Wayne Simmonds. He knows defenseman Matt Greene and center Jarret Stoll from their days in Edmonton and Stoll pronounced the deal “a great pickup” because of Penner’s strengths and because the Kings didn’t have to give up a player from their current lineup. Their price was defense prospect Colten Teubert, a first-round pick in June and a conditional pick in 2012.

“He’s great at controlling the puck and he’s a big, strong guy. We’ve got some big, strong guys already but that just adds to it.” Stoll said. “In the playoffs that’s a real important factor to have. It could be a six- or seven-game series and you need big, strong bodies to go through that.”

Penner, who will wear No. 25 when he makes his Kings debut Thursday against Phoenix at Staples Center, quickly made a favorable impression Wednesday on teammates who didn’t know him well.

“He’s a big boy out there. You don’t really realize how big he is until he’s off the skates,” Simmonds said of his 6-foot-4, 240-pound linemate. “He’s just a mammoth human being but at the same time he’s got nice, soft hands and he can distribute the puck well. And he can score. He’s got a good nose for the net. I’m looking forward to playing with him and Kopi.

“He’s got the experience and knows what it takes. I think he’s going to be a great fit for our team.”

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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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Sentimental journey for Kings' coaches, management

Terry-murray_300 The coaching staff and executives of the Kings -- also known as the West Coast branch of the Flyers alumni society -- got warm welcomes Sunday before the Kings faced the East-leading Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center.

Flyers employees and others greeted Kings Coach Terry Murray, assistant coach John Stevens and General Manager Dean Lombardi, though Murray pretended he had been snubbed.

“Nobody sent a beer to my room. No Philly cheesesteak, nothing at all,” he said, smiling.

But Murray, who played for the Flyers in addition to coaching them, said he relished the chance to see old friends.

“There’s a good feeling coming back here. This is a place I was a part of for a long time,” he said. “It goes back to ’75, when I came as a player, so there’s a lot of former teammates still around and a great history of the game. It was a lot of fun playing here, in this city, and to also coach here.”

But he seemed to have little sorrow that the end is near for the Spectrum, the Flyers' longtime home. The arena, located across the street from the Wells Fargo Center in a sports complex that also includes the homes of the Eagles and Phillies, is in the midst of being demolished. The Flyers and 76ers moved out in 1996 but the Spectrum was used by the Flyers’ minor-league team and for concerts until last year.

“Long overdue,” Murray said of the building’s demise. “It was a great building to play in. it was great for the fans. But you can’t stop progress. It’s time to move on.

“I opened this building when I came as coach of the Flyers. It was incredible when you walked over from that building to this when they were still under construction and to see the size of the place. It was incredible how it ever got done.”

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Final (mercifully): Coyotes 6, Kings 3

Match the Kings, whose sterling defensive play and goaltending had given them the NHL’s second-best team goals-against average and a four-game winning streak, against the Phoenix Coyotes, who had been held to a single goal in each of their last four games, and what do you get?

A completely unexpected collapse by the Kings and a scoring spree for the Coyotes.

Phoenix scored four times in the first period Wednesday and sent Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick to the bench by scoring six times on 18 shots midway through the second period, a surprising display by both teams in a 6-3 victory for the Coyotes before a crowd of 15,153 at Jobing.com Arena.

The Kings (22-13-1) will finish a stretch of four games in five nights by facing the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday at Staples Center. Jonathan Bernier was scheduled to start that game before he was called on Wednesday to relieve Quick, and it seems likely that plan won’t change. He actually made several good saves during his time in net Wednesday.

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After two periods: Coyotes 6, Kings 3

The Kings, who entered the game with a 2.20 goals-against average that ranked second in the NHL, gave up four goals in the first period to the Coyotes, who had scored a total of four in their previous four games. Phoenix scored those goals on 12 shots at Jonathan Quick, wreaking havoc on the Kings’ .920 team save percentage.

It was wacky, it was wild, it was a parade of ugly defensive plays in every form imaginable.

And it got worse, with the Kings facing a 6-3 deficit after two periods at Jobing.com Arena.

Shane Doan began the scoring parade at 5:31, after Jack Johnson couldn’t handle a rolling puck in his own zone following a pass from Drew Doughty. Scottie Upshall took it away and passed across to Doan, who scored on the Coyotes’ fourth shot of the game.

The Kings matched that at 7:39. Kevin Westgarth took a long shot — think somewhere in the neighborhood of Scottsdale — and Anze Kopitar got a piece of it. The puck squirted through Ilya Bryzgalov’s pads and was tapped over the goal line by Brad Richardson.

The Coyotes took a 2-1 lead at 9:20, when Ray Whitney got behind Johnson and had an open right side to deposit a pass from Keith Yandle. The Kings again pulled even, this time when Ryan Smyth deflected a shot by Doughty from the top of the circle at 11:24, but the Coyotes had an answer for that tooas Upshall skated in deep on the left side and scored over a sprawling Quick to give Phoenix a 3-2 lead at 12:16.

The Coyotes extended their lead to 4-2 at 15:34, during a power play, on a redirection by Brett MacLean for his first NHL goal in his first NHL game.

The Kings made it a one-goal game again at 16:07. Kopitar controlled the puck and came out from behind the net before throwing it toward Bryzgalov. Before it got to the goalie it caromed off Marco Sturm’s back and into the net.

The pace slowed in the second period, but only barely. Phoenix scored on a power play at 6:11, with  Doan going to one knee, and again at 10:03, on a long shot by Kyle Turris. That was all for Quick, who was replaced by Jonathan Bernier after giving up a half-dozen goals on 18 shots.

Bernier had already been told that he would start at home on Thursday against the Philadelphia Flyers, and it’s not clear if his unexpected appearance will change Coach Terry Murray’s plans or if he will start anyway.

More from Jobing.com Arena later, at www.latimes.com/sports.
-- Helene Elliott, in Glendale, Ariz.

 

 

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