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Category: NHL playoffs

Former NHL referee Kerry Fraser hasn't been forgiven for missed call

Kenv Today is a big day in hockey history—especially for fans of the Kings and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It was on this day in 1993 that the Kings benefited from a missed high stick by Wayne Gretzky against Doug Gilmour in Game 6 of the conference finals against the Toronto Maple Leafs and went on to win that game and the series in Toronto. The Kings advanced to what remains their only appearance in the Stanley Cup final in their history and lost to Montreal in five games.

Some Toronto fans still haven’t forgiven the Game 6 referee, Kerry Fraser, for his mistake in not calling a penalty on Gretzky. Fraser addresses it well in the column he writes for Canada’s TSN.ca, and it's frightening to read about what he and his family endured as a result of that non-call.

Apparently his mea culpa isn’t enough for some folks. Read the comments if you have a few minutes and you’ll see that some Maple Leaf fans still haven’t let this go after all these years.

ALSO:

Stanley Cup Final to start Wednesday

Kings sign prospects Vey, Berube

--Helene Elliott

Photo: Referee Kenny Fraser in 1986. Credit: Joe Patronite / Getty Images

Stanley Cup Final to start Wednesday

The NHL's Eastern Conference champion won't be determined until Friday's finale between the Boston Bruins and the Tampa Bay Lightning, but the league on Thursday released the schedule for the Stanley Cup Final.

NBC will televise Games 1 and 2 and, if necessary Games 5 through 7. Versus will broadcast Games 3 and 4. Getprev

Here's the schedule, with all times Pacific.

Wednesday, June 1, at Vancouver, 5 p.m. 

Saturday, June 4, at Vancouver, 5 p.m.

Monday, June 6, at Boston or Tampa Bay, 5 p.m. 

Wednesday, June 8, at Boston or Tampa Bay, 5 p.m.

*Friday, June 10, at Vancouver, 5 p.m. 

*Monday, June 13, at Boston or Tampa Bay, 5 p.m.

*Wednesday, June 15, at Vancouver, 5 p.m.

* if necessary

ALSO:

Kings sign prospects Vey, Berube

Death of Rangers' Derek Boogaard caused by mix of alcohol, oxycodone

-- Helene Elliott

Photo: Tampa Bay Lightning fans cheer in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Bruins on May 25. Credit: Justin K. Aller / Getty Images

Former King Teddy Purcell finds success with Tampa Bay

Purcell_275 Add Teddy Purcell's name to the list of players who seem to thrive after the Kings trade them away.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound winger was a prolific scorer in the U.S. Hockey League, in the one season he played at the University of Maine and in the Kings' minor-league system, peaking at 25 goals and 83 points for Manchester of the American Hockey League in the 2007-08 season.

But he never seemed to fit in with the Kings, scoring four goals in 40 games in 2008-09 and three goals in 41 games in the 2009-10 season. He played with top-line center Anze Kopitar and he played on the fourth line and he sat. A lot. General Manager Dean Lombardi traded him to Tampa Bay in March 2010 with a third-round pick in the 2010 entry draft for veteran center Jeff Halpern.

Halpern made little impression with the Kings and walked away as a free agent. Purcell scored three goals in 19 games for Tampa after being traded and 17 goals and 51 points in the just-completed regular season. He was credited with the game-winning goal in the Lightning's 5-2 victory over the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals, which are scheduled to resume Tuesday at Boston.

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Stanley Cup playoffs: Lots of talking before they drop the puck

Photo: Vancouver Canucks. Credit: Geoff Howe / Associated Press. A couple of viewing notes for the Stanley Cup playoffs, starting with Thursday night's dramatic Game 7 between the San Jose Sharks and Detroit Red Wings.

Thursday's game, which will decide who faces the top-seeded Vancouver Canucks in the Western Conference final, will air at 6 p.m. PDT on Versus. It will be preceded by a one-hour special analyzing the series, 30 minutes longer than the usual pregame show but worth the effort in what has been a terrific series. The Red Wings will become only the fourth NHL team to rally from a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-seven series if they win Thursday night at the Shark Tank.

And the NHL Network will air a one-hour preview of the conference finals Friday, a day before the East finals start at Boston between the Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning. The preview show will air from 3 to 4 p.m. PDT. Host David Amber will head an all-goalie panel with Kevin Weekes and Chicago Blackhawks goalie Marty Turco, who will also join the network's "On The Fly" show during the conference finals. Turco is a good observer and a good interview, and he should do well.

The preview show also will be streamed live on www.NHL.com.

During the conference finals the NHL Network will provide live coverage of every game.

For more information, go to www.nhlnetwork.com.

One final note: Russia defeated Canada, 2-1, in the quarterfinals of the World Hockey Championships, with Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier taking the loss. Winger Ilya Kovalchuk scored the winner at 12:19 of the third period.

ALSO:

NHL Conference finals to start Saturday

Ducks' Corey Perry named a finalist for NHL MVP award

-- Helene Elliott

Photo: Vancouver Canucks. Credit: Geoff Howe / Associated Press.

NHL Conference finals to start Saturday

Photo: Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin (33) battles for the puck with Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) during the third period in Game 6 of the second round of the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs at Bridgestone Arena. Credit: Jim Brown / US Presswire The NHL announced the schedule for the conference finals, taking into account arena availability issues in Tampa and the needs of its TV "partners."

Boston and Tampa Bay will be shaking off rust by the time they get started, on Saturday. The West will start Sunday at Vancouver, with the Canucks facing either the Detroit Red Wings or San Jose Sharks.  The Red Wings-Sharks series may end Tuesday or could go to a seventh game, which would be played on Thursday in San Jose.

Here's the NHL's schedule, with the TV options for U.S. viewers and with scenarios for Vancouver playing Detroit or San Jose. All times are Pacific. And games can be heard on Sirius XM Satellite Radio.

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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

Kings_640
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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Long time between games for Kings' Scott Parse

Scott-parse_325 Kings winger Scott Parse is a man of few upper-front teeth and even fewer words.

The 26-year-old from Portage, Mich., seems more comfortable on the ice than in front of a microphone or TV camera, and his imminent return to the lineup Saturday for the first time since Nov. 15 didn’t make him any chattier than usual.

Parse, who underwent hip surgery in November, was added to the lineup by Coach Terry Murray in an effort to stave off playoff elimination. The Sharks will take a 3-1 series lead into Saturday’s game at HP Pavilion and Murray decided reinstating Parse would be the best option to help prolong the series to a sixth game Monday at Staples Center.

Asked what he expects Saturday night, Parse had a brief answer.

“I expect a good game. I have to,” said Parse, who had a goal and four points in five games before the surgery. “We need to win it any way we can so I expect to play well.”

The key to getting back into the series is obvious, he said.

“We’ve got to play better defensively,” he said. “Six goals [against] in back-to-back games — we can’t do that. We’re looking to shut things down and play like we know how to defensively.”

For himself, he said: “I’ve just got to get out there and move my feet. If I’m playing good I’m skating, really creating things, energy, whatever. So as long as I’m skating it should be good.”

That last game Parse played, incidentally, was in San Jose. And he scored his only goal of the season, in a 6-3 loss.

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

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Kings taking a gamble by playing Scott Parse

Kings' season on the edge after 6-3 loss to Sharks in Game 4

-- Helene Elliott, in San Jose

Photo: Kings winger Scott Parse against the New Jersey Devils last season. Credit: Jim McIsaac / Getty Images

Dustin Penner stays in, Alexei Ponikarovsky out for Kings in Game 5

Dustin-penner_300 Greetings from San Jose, where the Sharks had their full team on the ice for the morning skate at HP Pavilion but the Kings’ session remained optional. What matters most is who shows up Saturday night, when the Sharks can end the team’s playoff series with a victory. A sixth game, if necessary, will be played Monday at Staples Center.

Kings Coach Terry Murray said he will stick with his plan to insert left wing Scott Parse in the lineup, even though Parse hasn’t played since Nov. 15 and underwent hip surgery shortly after that game. Parse will skate alongside Michal Handzus and Justin Williams, as Parse did in Friday’s practice.

The Kings’ fourth line will be Dustin Penner, Jarret Stoll and Kevin Westgarth, which means Alexei Ponikarovsky -- who scored the Kings’ final goal in their 6-3 loss Thursday at home -- will be scratched from the lineup, as will Oscar Moller.

Whether he’s doing it to justify General Manager Dean Lombardi’s trade for Penner or he believes against all evidence that Penner will suddenly become motivated to play at both ends of the ice, Murray kept Penner in the lineup. 

“Against this San Jose team, they’ve got three dominant lines. I’ve said this before, they’ve got three lines that are probably as good as any in the National Hockey League,” Murray said Saturday morning. “And they can play the game any way you want, any way they want it. And so it’s important for us to play four lines.

“When you have your top guy out of the lineup like this everybody has to dig in, check the proper way and play hard every shift. So with Parse going into the lineup here tonight I’m going to take Ponikarovsky out. Put Penner there with Stoll. It’s a little bit of a risk but I haven’t been getting enough from the top line on that left side, on the production side of it, and Parse has ability. He has skill. So I’m going to take that look here tonight.”

Murray said he took Ponikarovsky’s Game 4 goal into consideration but found better reasons to play Penner, who has one assist and is -4 defensively in the series.

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Kings' Drew Doughty explains confrontation in Game 4

Kings1 Deadlines and a longer-than-usual game Thursday prevented me from staying downstairs to hear Coach Terry Murray’s remarks after the Kings' 6-3 loss to the Sharks in Game 4 of their playoff series, but something jumped out at me later when I saw the postgame quote sheet that is compiled by the Kings’ media relations staff.

Murray was quoted as saying Sharks fourth-line center Scott Nichol was “the reason that they won,” a reference to a confrontation between Nichol and Kings defenseman Drew Doughty that sent both players to the penalty box at 3:14 of the second period. San Jose scored twice with the teams skating four on four, and Murray saw that as the pivotal moment of the game.

Doughty said Friday he knew he shouldn’t have risen to Nichols’ bait but offered a reasonable explanation.

“That’s really not the right tradeoff at all, but my emotions are running high. He tried to knee me, so I was upset about that, and then he knocked out my teeth and I was upset about that too,” said Doughty, opening his mouth to show off two sawed-off bottom teeth.

“That was the turning point of the game, and they got two goals when I was in the box,” he said. “I was upset but I can’t be doing that. I got to realize that maybe if it’s a guy like [Dan] Boyle or [Joe] Thornton or something like that it’s a better tradeoff. But Nichol’s a fourth-line center and not playing a lot of minutes and my team needs me and I can’t be in the box.”

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Kings: Scott Parse to return

Photo: Scott Parse #63 of the Los Angeles Kings skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on January 31, 2010. Credit: Jim McIsaac / Getty Images
Kings Coach Terry Murray, trying to plug the leaks that allowed the San Jose Sharks to score 12 goals in the last two games and take a 3-1 lead in the teams’ best-of-seven playoff series, juggled his lines in practice Friday to include winger Scott Parse, who last played on Nov. 15 and soon after that underwent hip surgery.

Parse skated alongside Michal Handzus and Justin Williams on Friday. On the other lines, Ryan Smyth was on the left with Trevor Lewis and Dustin Brown, and Kyle Clifford, Brad Richardson and Wayne Simmonds remained together.

Murray said he’s not sure about the composition of his fourth line for Saturday’s game at HP Pavilion but Kevin Westgarth will be a part of it. The Kings’ resident enforcer was one of five players wearing green jerseys Friday, along with Dustin Penner, Jarret Stoll, Alexei Ponikarovsky and Oscar Moller

“Westgarth will not be out. He’s played well. He’s played an important role,” Murray said. “I’ll keep him in the lineup.”

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