Kings Sweep Pre-Season Doubleheader

PRE-SEASON: Los Angeles Kings win twice on Monday night; post-game audio interviews from game 2 at Staples Center.

LOS ANGELES — After reading the headline above, you’re probably thinking that someone made a mistake.

Nope. Guess again.

On Monday night, the Los Angeles Kings actually won two games within hours of each other to open their 2008-09 pre-season action with a 2-1 win over the St. Louis Blues at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, followed by a 6-4 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes at Staples Center in a split-squad doubleheader of sorts.

Defenseman prospect Davis Drewiske scored a shorthanded goal at 1:01 of the second period and right wing prospect Wayne Simmonds scored on the power play at 4:30 of the third period to lead the Kings over the Blues.

Jonathan Quick got the start in goal for the Kings, stopping all 19 shots he faced in two periods of play. Jeff Zatkoff replaced Quick at the start of the third period, allowing one goal on twelve shots.

Back in Los Angeles, the Kings spotted the Coyotes a 1-0 lead less than two minutes into the game when forward prospect Kyle Turris scored on the power play at 1:47.

The Kings dominated the first period the rest of the way, with forward prospect David Meckler scoring on the power play at 7:55 and center Derek Armstrong scoring at even strength at 10:41 off the rush.

Center prospect Brian Boyle gave the Kings a 3-1 lead with a nifty power play goal off a spin move in the left circle at 2:08 of the second period. But the Coyotes stormed back with two quick goals.

Center Steven Reinprecht scored on the power play at 4:42 followed by an even strength goal by Coyotes center Garth Murray at 5:42.

Armstrong gave the Kings a one-goal lead once again at the 7:18 mark for his second goal of the game, only to see Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle beat LaBarbera with a slap shot from outside left point that was deflected near the point of contact at 16:02.

The Coyotes controlled play throughout the third period as the Kings played tentatively. But on a late power play, forward prospect Oscar Moller got to a loose puck after a scramble in front of Phoenix goalie Al Montoya, who entered the game at 10:41 of the second period, relieving starter Josh Tordjman. Moller backhanded the puck past Montoya, beating him low, just inside the right goal post.

Meckler added an empty-net goal at 19:59 to give the Kings their final margin of victory.

LaBarbera was not particularly sharp in 39:50 of ice time, allowing four goals on 17 shots. Daniel Taylor started the third period, stopping all eight shots he faced.

Three stars: #3 – Reinprecht; #2 – Armstrong; #1 – Moller.

NOTES: During the game against the Coyotes, the Kings sent the following players back to their junior teams: centers Bryan Cameron (Belleville, Ontario Hockey League) and Matt Fillier (Montreal, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League), and left wing Geordie Wudrick (Swift Current, Western Hockey League). They also released left wing Olivier Legault from his tryout contract. The Kings have 56 players remaining on their 2008 Training Camp roster, including 30 forwards, 18 defensemen and eight goaltenders.

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6 thoughts on “Kings Sweep Pre-Season Doubleheader

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  1. Great interviews, thanks Gann! Thanks for live-blogging the game, too; much appreciated by those of us that couldn’t be there.

  2. Once again Gann, Thanks for your wonderful efforts! What an amazing night for the Kings…whoa!!! And I still think they might just sneak up on a whole lot of NHL teams. I am thrilled that has finally stopped talking about them. Let’s just disappear from the limelight…stay away SI…just practice and work hard, learn the new system and remember, it’s still just a game. And on any given night, a good hockey team can come away with a victory. All the analysis in the world won’t mean diddly against solid skating, checking. defense and technique. Hearing that Jason LaBarbera is starting to fall into a groove is even better news. It’s only the pre-season, but who knows what can happen if he believes in the guys working ahead of him? Meanwhile, a number of other players have really been bringin’ it on a nightly basis. Personally, I’m gettin’ excited about the coming season…RL

  3. I was going to say just the opposite. If anything, LaBarbera’s gonna be booted. He gave up 4 goals on 17 shots… ouch. I think everyone is hoping this will be Bernier’s season. If not, Ersberg and Taylor/Quick in the 1 and 2. I think we’d be better off without LaBarbera, to be honest…

  4. I’m tellin’ ya’, I can’t hear too much about Wayne Simmonds these days. What an exciting prospect!

    Any news or interviews with Simmonds would be welcome.

    What a great pick by DL!

  5. I’m tellin’ ya, guys, I think he’s gonna come around this year. And it will give Bernier another year in the minors to develop a bit more. Keep the faith!!!

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