Defenseman Rob Scuderi had an assist and played 19:07 Saturday during his return to the Kings after Friday’s trade from the Chicago Blackhawks. He played 26 shifts and was paired with Alec Martinez to start the game. Near the end, with the Kings hanging onto a 2-0 lead and Buffalo goalie Robin Lehner on the bench in favor of a sixth attacker, Scuderi was on the ice with Drew Doughty.
“It feels good,” Scuderi said. “I know exactly what’s expected of me. It suits my style. I thought I fit in pretty good. There are probably little things I’ve been doing on different teams the last 10 weeks that maybe they’ll iron out and show me in video. But for the most part I felt pretty good about the one game.”
Asked if he expected to play as much as he did, Scuderi said, “I didn’t really expect anything. That’s up to them. As a player, your job is to be prepared physically and mentally, and I was. But as far as how much they use me and how they use me, they’re the coaches, it’s their call.”
Playing at the end with Doughty was “a big confidence boost,” Scuderi said.
“I think the biggest thing that’s been hurting in my game for a couple of months isn’t so much the physicality of it as is the confidence of it, the mental side,” he said. “So, any time you can be used in those types of situations, it gives you a little boost, knowing the coaching staff trusts you to do those things. It goes a long way.”
Key play: Tanner Pearson scored two goals, one in the second period and another in the third, to send the Kings to a 2-0 victory Saturday over the Buffalo Sabres at Staples Center. The Pacific Division-leading Kings won their fourth in a row without scoring more than two goals in a game.
Pivotal performer: Kings goalie Jhonas Enroth made 23 saves for his second shutout of the season. He started in goal for the first time since a 1-0 loss Feb. 14 against the New Jersey Devils. His last victory was Jan. 24 against the San Jose Sharks. Jonathan Quick is expected to start Sunday against the Ducks.
Welcome back: Defenseman Rob Scuderi was credited an assist in his Kings return after he was acquired Friday from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for defenseman Christian Ehrhoff. Scuderi received a warm ovation while a video tribute played on the scoreboard during a first-period timeout.
Quote, unquote: “I’m not an overly emotional guy,” Scuderi said of the video tribute. “I don’t show a whole lot, but it was pretty special. I was looking for an opportunity to go back to the NHL. It’s a privilege to play in this league, but it made it a lot sweeter to come back to the Kings. It meant a lot. I appreciated it.”
Lineup shuffle: Kings defenseman Jamie McBain was scratched from the lineup in order to make way for Scuderi, who was paired with Alec Martinez to start the game. McBain was the odd man out of the lineup after defenseman Kevin Gravel was assigned to Ontario of the AHL on Friday.
Here’s what Rob Scuderi said Saturday about the growth and progress of fellow Kings defenseman Drew Doughty in the four years since they were teammates on the 2012 Stanley Cup championship team: “You know it’s there and you know it’s going to happen when you see him in his younger years. It’s nice to see, but it hasn’t been a surprise. You can see his heart and his head were always in the right place even when he was 19 and 20 and that he would eventually develop into a good leader for this team. It’s great to see, but it’s also not a surprise.”
Here’s some of what Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi said Saturday about Friday’s trade from the Chicago Blackhawks: “It’s pretty special for me. It’s been kind of a long 10 weeks since my first trade out of Pittsburgh and getting bumped around a little bit, so it’s nice to come back to some familiar faces and a familiar environment where I had some success and I’d like to have some more.
“I was in Cleveland with Rockford (Ill., of the American Hockey League) and we were going to play Lake Erie for a couple of games. They called in the afternoon. I guess there was a pretty good chance it was going to happen and I was nervous. Is it going to happen? Is is not going to happen?
“Then I got a call about an hour later that it was pretty much official, that I should pack my stuff and start to go. I was definitely the happiest guy in Cleveland, that was for sure. I was hoping for an opportunity anywhere in the NHL, but to come back to a place that I know people, respect people, have a chance to regain success was very, very special for me.”
The deal is done. The Kings swapped defensemen with the Chicago Blackhawks, acquiring Rob Scuderi and parting with Christian Ehrhoff. Scuderi helped the Kings win the Stanley Cup championship in 2012. He has been playing with Rockford of the AHL. Ehrhoff has been with Ontario of the AHL. Scuderi is 37. Ehrhoff is 33. Scuderi was scoreless in 17 games with the Blackhawks. Ehrhoff had two goals and 10 points in 40 games for the Kings. Scuderi can be an unrestricted free agent after next season. Ehrhoff can be a UFA after this one.
The Kings sent defenseman Kevin Gravel to Ontario to make room for Scuderi on their roster.
According to TSN:
The Kings are finalizing a deal to re-acquire defenseman Rob Scuderi from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for defenseman Christian Ehrhoff. Scuderi no longer plays for the Blackhawks, but has been with Rockford (Ill.) of the AHL for three games. Ehrhoff no longer plays for the Kings, but has been with Ontario of the AHL for five games. Scuderi, 37, is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent after next season. Ehrhoff, 33, can become a UFA after this season.
Scuderi was a member of the KIngs’ 2012 Stanley Cup championship team.
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