9/30 notes, quotes

Is it worth noting that the Kings have earned eight points in five preseason games? Possibly, but it was a fairly light Ducks lineup tonight, and tomorrow night’s game in Anaheim should be a better indicator of what this rivalry will look like this season.

Jason LaBarbera has looked sharp and confident recently, both on and off the ice. Who knows how it will translate once the games start, but I’ve been covering Jason with the Kings since 2005 and I’ve never heard him talk more confidently about his abilities. LaBarbera stopped 30 of 31 shots tonight, following the 20-for-22 outing in his last game.

A few notes and quotes from the night…

— With his third goal of the preseason, Matt Moulson is now tied for the team lead with Anze Kopitar.

— Oscar Moller once again played first-line minutes with Kopitar and Brown. The longer the Patrick O’Sullivan situation drags on — and there’s still no indication that a deal is imminent — the longer Moller will get a chance to stick around and impress.

— Dustin Brown and Ryan Getzlaf had a scary collision with about seven minutes left in the game. Both players skated off slowly. Brown came back and didn’t appear to be in any trouble. Getzlaf went to the locker room and I didn’t see whether or not he returned.

— Wayne Simmonds got in two fights tonight and didn’t really come close to winning either, but he continues to impress. Last week, a Kings official called Simmonds one of the surprises of camp.

Some quotes…

Terry Murray, on the game…
“We had better composure and better conviction to execute. We didn’t get the puck deep enough on a consistent basis. However, we were much better in the third period. We had a lot of opportunities. Both goalies were very good tonight.”

Dustin Brown, on season preparations…
“We’re getting there. Obviously we have about 10 days before we need to be completely ready. In about seven to 10 days we’ll have a better idea of where we’ll be at.”

Brown, on the change in coaching styles…
“They’re very different coaching styles. I don’t know if you want to call it an adjustment, it’s a different feeling. Coach Murray is much more calm. That seems to trickle down to the players. It seems like we don’t panic as much. I think the defensive zone coverage we’re trying to change a bit is helping us.”

Sean O’Donnell, on the trade…
“I was a bit surprised, but I’ve been around long enough where nothing shocks me… Anaheim will always have a special place in my heart because they gave me something I dreamed of since I was a young boy [the Stanley Cup]… I’ve been at this for a long time. You do what you can control, show up and play as hard as you can. You be a good teammate, be a good person and things will work out.”

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FINAL: Ducks 2, Kings 1 (SO)

In the third consecutive overtime game for the Kings in the preseason, the Ducks won 2-1 in a shootout. Jason LaBarbera went the whole way in goal and stopped 30 of 31 shots in regulation. Chris Kunitz had the only goal in the shootout.

More notes and quotes from the locker room later, for those who want to stay up…

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Kings 1-0

The Kings took the lead on one of those goals that Terry Murray likes. Two guys in front of the net, and Matt Moulson knocked it in from short range. Simmonds and Doughty with the assists 10:57 into the first period. It’s Moulson’s third goal of the preseason.

Just before the goal, the Kings’ Kevin Westgarth and the Ducks’ Steve Montador got into the game’s first fight, 10 minutes into the first period. Both guys got in some good swings before Westgarth finally got the takedown.

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Goalie update

Jason LaBarbera and Erik Ersberg are scheduled to be the two goalies tonight, with LaBarbera possible to play the entire game. As I missed this weekend, LaBarbera is slotted to start the season opener against San Jose, so it will be interesting to see how minutes are split for the rest of the preseason. I’m heading out to tonight’s game, so I’ll be able to get updates later tonight on all sorts of topics.

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Roster moves

Hello, everyone. Back and (not quite) refreshed from a very long day of air travel to see that the Kings made quite a few roster moves today. Off to Manchester are Jonathan Bernier, Drew Bagnall, Trevor Lewis, Justin Azevedo, Andrew Campbell, Paul Crosty, Vladimir Dravecky, Gabe Gauthier, Bud Holloway, Josh Kidd, Brady Murray, Marty Murray, Scott Parse, Daniel Taylor, Eric Werner and Jeff Zatkoff. Also, Mike D’Orazio got returned to Owen Sound of the OHL.

That leaves the Kings with 36 players in camp, and most of the hard decisions have yet to be made. The two most notable names on the above list are probably Jonathan Bernier and Gabe Gauthier. I’m sure Bernier considers the move a disappointment, as this camp didn’t go quite the same as last year’s, but Bernier’s (undisclosed) leg injury clearly set him back and made it much easier for the Kings to make the move they probably wanted to make all along. Gauthier will almost certainly be in the NHL at some point this season, but it looks like the Kings wanted to give Manchester a bit of a running start.

It’s good to get back at it, and I’m going to try to get Dean Lombardi on the phone tomorrow to update us on these situations — O’Sullivan, veteran defenseman — that still haven’t been resolved since I left!

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Thursday transactions

The Kings made only two transactions today, sending Colten Teubert and Dwight King to their junior teams. King went to Lethbridge of the WHL and Teubert went to Regina of the WHL. The next round of cuts is expected after Saturday’s game in Las Vegas.

It’s safe to say that Teubert had a much tougher adjustment to the NHL level than Drew Doughty. It doesn’t mean that the Kings are down on him, by any means, and it might be more of a reflection on Doughty than it is on Teubert.

Just as a FYI, I’m out of town for a couple days, so I’ll do my best to stay on top of the news…

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FINAL: Kings 4, Avs 3 (SO)

Ted Purcell scored the only goal of the shootout, in the third round, and the Kings beat the Avalanche 4-3. Jonathan Quick stopped all three attempts in the shootout, while Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown failed before Purcell got the winner.

Kings move to 3-0 in the preseason.

The Kings outshot the Avs 41-19 and took only one minor penalty after the first period.

Erik Ersberg stopped 9 of 11 shots and Jonathan Quick stopped 7 of 8.

Jack Johnson played a game-high 29 minutes, 6 seconds.

Drew Doughty was plus-2. Tom Preissing and Davis Drewiske were minus-2.

As for potential injuries, Brian Boyle did not take a shift in the third period or overtime. No reason was given, so we’ll see what happened there.

Next game is Saturday against Colorado in Las Vegas…

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