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Frozen Royalty Audio And NHL Video: LA Kings Snap 5-Game Skid With Sloppy 6-4 Win Over Columbus

POST-GAME AUDIO: Includes reaction from Jack Johnson, who signed a seven-year contract extension on January 8.


LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Kings finally snapped their five-game losing streak with a 6-4 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets in front of a sellout crowd of 18,118 fans at Staples Center in Los Angeles on January 8, but showed that they still have a great deal of work to do to cure what ails them.

After taking a 4-0 lead with three goals in the first period and one more early in the second period, the Kings lost their intensity and stopped working hard, allowing the Blue Jackets to takeover the game in the third period. Read more of this post

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Frozen Royalty Audio and NHL Video: Kopitar, Clifford, Quick Lead LA Kings to 2-1 Win Over Calgary

LOS ANGELES — Rookie Kyle Clifford scored his first National Hockey League goal, Anze Kopitar scored his third straight game-winning goal, and Jonathan Quick made 26 saves to lead the Los Angeles Kings to a 2-1 victory over the Calgary Flames in front of an announced sell-out crowd of 18,118 fans at Staples Center in Los Angeles on December 9.

Olli Jokinen scored the Flames’ lone goal on the power play late in the third period.

Kings center Brad Richardson suffered an upper body injury, possibly a concussion, during the first period. He appeared to be woozy as he skated to the Kings’ bench, and did not return. He will be evaluated by team doctors on December 10.

Prior to the game, left wing Alexei Ponikarovsky was activated from injured reserve after missing twelve games due to a broken finger he suffered on November 6, 2010, in a 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators at Staples Center.

Ponikarovsky returned to his position on the Kings’ third line, with center Michal Handzus and right wing Wayne Simmonds. Read more of this post

Best Players Are Starting To Come Through For The Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — After a smoking hot 12-3-0 start followed by a 2-6-0 nose dive, one thing has been a constant for the Los Angeles Kings this season…

…that they have a gaping hole on their top line at left wing, as evidenced by the fact that so many players have played that position this season with varying degrees of success…or failure. Indeed, so many players have played alongside center Anze Kopitar that one could fill an entire roster just with those players.

Forwards Justin Williams (left) and Anze Kopitar (right) have come on strong of late for the Los Angeles Kings.
Photo: David Sheehan

That is an exaggeration, of course, but you get the point. The Kings’ first line was inconsistent, at best, during the team’s hot start. In fact, the first line was supplanted by the Kings’ second line of left wing Ryan Smyth, center Jarret Stoll, and right wing Justin Williams as their top offensive line in terms of production.

During their 2-6-0 skid, the Kings’ problems started in their own end, where they were giving up Grade A scoring chances and goals in bunches. But later in the slide, the problems moved to the other end of the ice as the team stopped scoring.

The solution? Following their 2-0 loss at Anaheim on November 29, head coach Terry Murray made yet another change on his top line, moving Williams up to play the right side with Kopitar while right wing Dustin Brown shifted over to left wing.

In the two games (both wins) the Kings have played since the change, the new first line has combined for four goals and four assists for eight points. Read more of this post

For The Los Angeles Kings, Black Friday Has A Totally Different Meaning

EL SEGUNDO, CA — When Terry Murray was hired as head coach of the Los Angeles Kings on July 17, 2008, his highest priority was to teach his young team how to play defense, something that seemed like a foreign concept to the Kings in the seasons just prior to his arrival.

Two years later, Murray’s mostly young charges had improved their defensive zone play in dramatic fashion by emphasizing coverage of the “home plate” area in front of their own net. That new focus, along with improved goaltending, resulted in a dramatically reduced number of shots against, far fewer quality scoring chances by opponents and, as a result, a lot less pucks ending up in their net.

That focus was on point to start the 2010-11 season, one that saw the Kings jump out to a 12-3-0 start. But their defensive focus went by the wayside in mid-November, and the Kings have been in a deep slump ever since, losing five of their last six games while allowing one glorious scoring chance after another and giving up goals in bunches. Read more of this post

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