Teddy Purcell and Matt Moulson had a reunion of sorts Tuesday. The two played on the same line to start the season in Manchester, though the line was broken up when Moulson was called up for 12 games. Now the two are back playing together with the Kings.
“We had some really good chemistry down in Manchester,” Purcell said. “It’s nice to be reunited with him. It shows our work down there has been noticed. I thought we had some pretty good chances early. Unfortunately, we couldnt bury one but I thought we had some pretty good chemistry.”
Moulson said he felt more comfortable in last night’s game than when he was up earlier.
“I probably should have had three goals tonight alone,” Moulson said after the game. “I just need to bury my chances and take advantage of this opportunity.”
Brad Stuart’s name has been popping up in a lot of trade scenarios with the trade deadline a month away. Here’s what he had to say about it …
“I went through it last year. Any time you’re an unrestricted free-agent-to-be, your name is going to pop up no matter your situation. I don’t really worry about it too much at this point. Whatever is going to happen is going to happen.
“I like it here. It’s a great place to play. It’s tough when you don’t win. That can make any situation miserable. But I don’t think it’s been miserable. It’s just been a tough year. This is a great organization with fans that are looking for a winning team to really get behind. We just haven’t been able to do that this year. But I like it here.
“Any time you get a chance to go to a good team and have a chance to win, that’s good. You see it every year. I haven’t really thought about that. I’m just kind of focused on what we need to do here to gather some wins. Anything else is out of my hands.”
Alexander Frolov said he never fully healed from the right groin injury that kept him out 11 games in November and December.
“It still keeps me from doing some moves and I can feel it on some turns,” Frolov said. “Some days it’s worse than others.”
Frolov, who started the season with a strained left groin, said he has only felt healthy for a couple games between injuries and doesn’t expect to feel that way again this season.
“It’s something that is going to take months of rest to fully heal,” Frolov said. “I just have to play through it for now. In the offseason, I’ll do all the treatment and try to get it fixed.”
Here are Marc Crawford’s thoughts following Tuesday night’s loss to Detroit:
The opinion in the locker room seemed to be that the Kings did well to limit Detroit’s chances but the Red Wings did well to take advantage of what little they got.
“We made maybe three or four mistakes and they scored on two of them, Dustin Brown said. “Theyre one of those teams that have the ability to find a way to win games, and thats what makes them one of the best teams in the league.
This may be true, but it kind of overlooks that the Kings didn’t get anything going offensively. The Kings did get off to a good start with seven shots on goal before the Red Wings had one. Maybe if they converted on one of those, the game would have gone differently.
“Thats a team you really need to get a lead on if youre a team like ours, Crawford said. “We didnt. We made one mistake in the second period and they ended up scoring on us. Down two goals, they really locked it up and checked us fairly effectively the last half of the game.
With his third shutout of the season, Detroit goaltender Chris Osgood passed former Kings goalie Rogie Vachon for 15th on the NHL’s all-time win list for the position.
The Kings got the first seven shots on goal of the period but Detroit scored the first goal, with Tomas Holmstrom hitting a one-timer off a nice centering pass from Pavel Datsyuk. There were so many cheers in Staples Center that I had to double-check which goal light was going off.
Detroit has the best record in the NHL with 74 points, and the Kings the worst with 40 points. But the Red Wings will be playing without All-Star forward Henrik Zetterberg, who has a back injury. I’m interested in seeing Purcell for the first time. Here’s the early lines for the Kings:
Anze Kopitar said his father, Matjaz, will return to Slovenia to resume coaching after joining him in Atlanta for the All-Star Game. Anze has had his whole family around this season. His younger brother, Gasper, plays for the Junior Kings Midget AAA 16-and-under team. Gasper had been going to Mira Costa High but will begin home schooling next week. Anze’s mother is going to stay behind to take care of Gasper, so Anze will still get her home cooking.
By the way, Gasper was at practice Monday and he looks just like Anze.
Jeff Giuliano has been up with the Kings for 20 games now, which means he must be doing something right. His numbers are nothing to look at. He has one assist and a minus-5. But he’s playing on an energy and/or checking line where offense isn’t expected. The Kings previousy tried Gabe Gauthier in the role and he didn’t pan out because he is more of an offensive player than a grinder like Giuliano.
Here is what Crawford says about Giuliano: “He’s played a little bit of a checking role. Jeff helped us in the PK department and with his skating. Wed like to see him be very trustworthy in the d-zone, be strong positionally and be able to shut people down. Thats the role he will hopefully fulfill. Hes not a big guy but he does have good strength. Hes not here to be an offensive dynamo. He hasn’t been an offensive dynamo at any level. He’s very conscientious and an attention-to-detail type of player.”
The forward had three goals in 12 games up with the Kings previously this season. He has 31 points in 31 games in Manchester.