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Los Angeles Kings Are Holding On By A Quickly Unraveling Thread As They Face Elimination

LA Kings center Anze Kopitar, shown here during a recent practice
session, has scored just two goals in his last 33 games
(17 playoff games and 16 regular season games).
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Kings are in Chicago, hours away from a win-or-go home Game 5 matchup against the Chicago Blackhawks, who lead their best-of-seven Western Conference Final playoff series, 3-1.

The Blackhawks, even without their top defenseman, Duncan Keith (suspended), used their superior speed and surprisingly strong physical play to force the Kings into numerous turnovers and to keep Kings forwards on the perimeter throughout most of Game 4, a 3-2 Chicago victory that was not as close as the score might indicate.

Indeed, the disparity in quality scoring chances fell heavily in favor of the Blackhawks, who could have easily won this game by a two or three-goal margin, if not for the strong play of Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, even though the Blackhawks’ first goal by forward Bryan Bickell was a soft goal.

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Jeff Carter, LA Kings Are Not Thinking About Retaliation After High Stick By Chicago’s Duncan Keith

LA Kings forward Jeff Carter showed off facial injuries when he met
with the media on June 5, 2013, at the team’s practice facility, the
Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Let’s just say that the aftermath wasn’t pretty.

Indeed, the day after falling victim to a high stick to the face, courtesy of Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith, Los Angeles Kings forward Jeff Carter has definitely looked better.

On the play, after Carter appeared to chop at Keith’s glove, which was down on the ice, as Keith was picking it up—Carter’s stick blade may have contacted Keith’s hand—Keith immediately responded by swinging his stick, with the blade striking Carter squarely in the mouth.

“We were battling in front of the net, up the ice,” said Carter. “I think I took a swing at his glove there, he was trying to pick it up. I was in front of him. Next thing I knew, I was getting a stick to the face.”

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2013 Western Conference Finals: Goaltending, Physical Style Should Help LA Kings Advance Past Chicago Blackhawks

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Heading into Game 1 of the 2013 Western Conference Finals, the Los Angeles Kings face their greatest challenge yet this season in the President’s Trophy-winning Chicago Blackhawks.

Having lost two of the three games against Chicago in the regular season might be a red flag for many. But the Kings won the last contest between the two teams on March 25, 5-4, at a time when the Kings were different team than the one the Blackhawks faced earlier in the season.

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LA Kings Trevor Lewis Is Thriving Under Head Coach Darryl Sutter

VIDEO: Includes video of May 25 media interview with Los Angeles Kings head coach Darryl Sutter with bonus footage available only from FrozenRoyaltyNHL on YouTube.


LA Kings forward Trevor Lewis
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — At this point in his National Hockey League career, it is quite clear that Los Angeles Kings forward Trevor Lewis is not likely to become a gifted sniper or a dazzling playmaker.

But that is what Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi thought he could be getting when he dealt center Pavol Demitra, the Kings’ best player in the 2005-06 season, to the Minnesota Wild on June 24, 2006, in exchange for center prospect Patrick O’Sullivan (now playing in Finland), who was the top prospect in the Wild organization at the time, along with the 17th pick in the first round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

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