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Los Angeles Kings Need Early-Season Version Of Mike Richards To Return

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — With an assist on Dustin Penner’s goal at 17:46 of the second period, giving the Los Angeles Kings their final margin of victory in a 3-1 win at Tampa Bay on Tuesday night, center Mike Richards ended an eight-game point scoring drought.

Richards’ performance in this game may have been his best since returning to the lineup after missing eight games due to a concussion that he suffered on December 1, 2011, when the Kings handed the visiting Florida Panthers a 2-1 defeat.

But since returning on December 22 (a 3-2 shootout win against the Anaheim Ducks at Staples Center in Los Angeles), Richards has been a mere shell of his former self. Read more of this post

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LA Kings: Kevin Westgarth Celebrates First NHL Goal With Teammates, Family, Friends And Fans

EL SEGUNDO, CA — 23 games into the 2011-12 regular season, the Los Angeles Kings have earned a 12-8-3 record, good for 28 points, one point behind the Dallas Stars for the Pacific Division lead, and just three points behind the Western Conference-leading Chicago Blackhawks.

But remaining in contention for the top spots in their division and conference has been more of a struggle than expected, giving fans a lot to rant and rave about.

Fortunately, one feel-good story came out last week, providing a bit of a respite from the constant moaning and groaning about everything that people perceive to be wrong with the Kings. Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings: Smarter, Better, More Disciplined Play Needed From Ethan Moreau

EL SEGUNDO, CA — When the Los Angeles Kings signed rugged, checking winger Ethan Moreau to a one-year, unrestricted free agent contract on August 20, 2011, the expectation was that he would bring energy, physical play, solid forechecking and strong defensive play to the Kings’ third and fourth lines.

The 36-year-old, 6-3, 223-pound native of Huntsville, Ontario, a former captain of the Edmonton Oilers, also brings veteran leadership, and years of National Hockey League experience.

But so far this season, Moreau has played well in spurts, but has not given the Kings anywhere near enough of what is needed or expected.

“His role is basically to be that fourth line left winger—grit, size, experience, and to give us that harder game, and that’s been there…in and out,” said head coach Terry Murray. “But there’s been times that it’s been very good, and I think, in the last couple of games, I’ve seen more of it [from him while playing with right wing Kevin] Westgarth and [center Colin] Fraser, and that’s stuff that we need.” Read more of this post

2011 LA Kings Training Camp: Scott Parse May Be Playing Himself Out Of A Job

EL SEGUNDO, CA — With left wing Dustin Penner looking strong and fit, with center Anze Kopitar and right wing Justin Williams experiencing no difficulties coming off late-season injuries, and with little concern about chemistry developing between forwards Dustin Brown, Simon Gagne and Mike Richards, the microscope has now focused on the Los Angeles Kings’ third and fourth lines during their 2011 Training Camp, which is entering its twelfth day on the ice. Read more of this post

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