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LA Kings Rookie LW Tanner Pearson Is Flying As High As His Confidence Has Soared

AUDIO INTERVIEWS: Listen to audio from May 7 interviews with Tanner Pearson, Drew Doughty, Jarret Stoll and head coach Darryl Sutter.


LA Kings rookie left wing Tanner Pearson, shown here during practice on May 7, 2014, at the Toyota Sports Center in EL Segundo, California.
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Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — In case you haven’t noticed, Los Angeles Kings rookie left wing Tanner Pearson has been flying during the playoffs…almost literally. He has been more effective during the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs than at any point during the regular season, making plays and using his speed, which, all of a sudden, appears to be his most dangerous weapon.

Conventional wisdom suggests that a young player like the 21-year-old Pearson should find it more difficult to be effective in the National Hockey League playoffs than it was during the regular season. Nevertheless, the converse has been true for Pearson, who has scored a goal and has contributed three assists for four points, with a +5 plus/minus rating and four penalty minutes in seven playoff games.

Compared to this time last year when Pearson played just 5:44 in Game 3 against the San Jose Sharks, the 6-1, 200-pound native of Kitchener, Ontario has come a long way in just one season.

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LA Kings-Anaheim Ducks: It’s Still Early, But Anze Kopitar Is Winning The Matchup With Ryan Getzlaf

AUDIO INTERVIEWS: Listen to audio of May 6 interviews with Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards, Matt Greene, Jeff Schultz, and head coach Darryl Sutter.


LA Kings center Anze Kopitar
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

ANAHEIM AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — Heading into the second round playoff series between the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks, a matchup that Southern California hockey fans have been waiting twenty years for, much of the hype focused on the battle between two of the National Hockey League’s best centers, Anze Kopitar of the Kings, and Ryan Getzlaf of the Ducks.

Getzlaf is a finalist for this season’s Hart Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s Most Valuable Player, while Kopitar is a finalist for the Selke Trophy, awarded to the league’s top defensive forward.

Looking at their offensive numbers, Getzlaf is fifth in playoff scoring with three goals and seven assists for ten points, with a +1 plus/minus rating and six penalty minutes in seven playoff games.

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Jeff Schultz Puts In Solid Performance In Fill-In Role For LA Kings

AUDIO INTERVIEWS: Listen to post-game audio of interviews with Dustin Brown, Alec Martinez, Jeff Schultz, head coaches Darryl Sutter and Bruce Boudreau. Also listen to the pre-game press conference with National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman.


LA Kings defenseman Jeff Schultz

ANAHEIM, CA — With veteran, stay-at-home defensemen Willie Mitchell and Robyn Regehr unavailable due to injury, the Los Angeles Kings were forced to turn to a player who had not played in a National Hockey League game since March 31, 2013, when he was with the Washington Capitals.

Along the same lines, the Kings turned to a player who spent the entire season (aside from a couple of brief recalls to the Kings; he did not play) with the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League.

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2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Los Angeles Kings Are Really Offensive

LA Kings defenseman Alec Martinez (foreground center)

EL SEGUNDO, CA — As the Los Angeles Kings prepared for tonight’s Game 2 of their second round playoff series against the Anaheim Ducks, they knew that despite winning Game 1, they must play considerably better than they did, if they expect to win Game 2, let alone advance to the Western Conference Finals.

In Game 1, the Kings found themselves hemmed into their own zone by the Ducks for extended periods, much of that caused by their own mistakes.

“I thought our puck management wasn’t great,” said right wing Justin Williams. “I didn’t think our forecheck was great. I think all around, everyone has areas to improve on and myself, personally, also.”

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