Wednesday update

Just had a quick chat with Terry Murray. Highlights included…

– Dustin Brown is scheduled to rejoin the team for tomorrow’s practice in Detroit, after which his status for Friday’s game will be determined. Murray reports that all is well on the home front for Brown.

– Erik Ersberg will start in goal tonight, which was the plan since the start of the trip. The Kings didn’t arrive in Philadelphia until 3:30 a.m. today.

– Murray had praise for Teddy Purcell’s game and said the challenge is for Purcell to maintain the play, something he wasn’t quite able to do in his first stint with the Kings.

– Murray was pleased with the new Doughty-Johnson pairing, and said he made the change because he thought the Greene-Johnson pairing needed to be shaken up a bit.

– Despite all his time in Philadelphia, as a player and coach, Murray is not a fan of cheesesteaks or hoagies. He said he prefers some of the great fish in town. Don’t you just hate healthy people?

I’ll be posting some quotes on all this stuff soon, and come on by for the chat this afternoon.

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Postgame notes (2/24)

– Terry Murray did some mild shuffling of the defensive pairings. Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson, the Kings’ top young defensemen, were paired together while their former partners, Matt Greene and Sean O’Donnell, made up the second defensive pairing. Peter Harrold and Kyle Quincey were the third pair, but that could change again on Wednesday, as defenseman Denis Gauthier is eligible to return from his two-game suspension.

–The Kings went to a shootout for the fourth time in their last eight games. They improved to 4-7 in shootouts for the season. They had lost three of their previous four shootouts.

– The Kings had previously been 3-18-6 when allowing the first goal.

– The Kings are 3-0 against the Wild this season, with a March 7 home game remaining.

– Jonathan Quick, coming off arguably his worst game of the season, started in goal and stopped 23 of 24 shots. Quick allowed five goals in Saturday’s loss to Phoenix but has now won six consecutive road games.

– Dustin Brown missed the game to stay in Los Angeles with his wife, who gave birth to the couple’s second child on Monday night. Brown had played all 58 games for the Kings before Tuesday and has missed only eight of a possible 305 games since the start of the 2005-06 season.

–Teddy Purcell, called up from Manchester on Monday to take the roster spot of Brown, played on the third line alongside LW Kyle Calder and C Jarret Stoll. Purcell was credited with two shots on goal and played 13 minutes, 2 seconds.

– Jack Johnson second a second-period goal. He has three goals and one assist in 18 games this season. Johnson was credited with the goal after it was deflected in by a Minnesota defenseman.

– Sean O’Donnell was designated as an alternative captain because of the absence of team captain Dustin Brown. O’Donnell was the first captain of the Minnesota Wild, in 2000-01.

– The Kings outshot the Wild 25-24.

– The Kings were 1-for-5 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill but allowed a shorthanded goal.

– Drew Doughty led the Kings in ice time, at 25:28. Alexander Frolov played 25:08 to lead all Kings forwards.

– Patrick O’Sullivan, Wayne Simmonds and Kyle Calder tied for the team high with four shots on goal each.

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Doughty postgame quotes

Quotes from Drew Doughty’s postgame interview with Bob and Jim. Doughty started off by joking about his non-shot shot that trickled past Backstrom and gave the Kings the win…

(on the Kings’ road success…)
DOUGHTY: “I don’t know why we don’t play like that at home, but we play well on the road. That game was a really tight checking game and, overall, just a really good, sound, defensive hockey game. In that third (period) and overtime, we really took it to them, and I thought we did a great job tonight.”

(on pairing with Jack Johnson for the first time in a full game…)
DOUGHTY: “You know, it’s awesome. Me and Jack are both more offensive-minded defensemen, and we work really well together. We communicate well on the ice, and we make little plays that maybe some other defensemen don’t make. I think we both enjoy that and I think we feed off each other very well.”

(on his progress in his rookie season…)
DOUGHTY: “You know, I’ve had a lot of help from Sean O’Donnell. He has been my defense partner pretty much the entire year. Coming in, it was tough, because the guys were so much bigger and so much more skilled. My defensive game was one thing I really had to work on, and Sean O’Donnell helped me out so much. He talks to me between periods, on the ice, at all times. Without him, it would be a really difficult season for me.”

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FINAL: Kings 2, Wild 1 (SO)

A scoring update will be posted here, for those who need the info…

Officials: Kevin Pollock, Kyle Rehman, Mark Pare, Brian Mach

Kings scratches: Denis Gauthier, Oscar Moller

Wild scratches: Colton Gillies, Kurtis Foster, Owen Nolan

FIRST PERIOD
No scoring.

SECOND PERIOD
Minnesota: Miettinen from Koivu, 5:48 (SH)
Kings: Johnson from Doughty and Kopitar, 14:55 (PP)

THIRD PERIOD
No scoring.

OVERTIME
No scoring.

SHOOTOUT
Kings: Jack Johnson scored in the second round.
Minnesota: Antti Miettinen scored in the third round.
Kings: Drew Doughty scored in the fourth round.

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Purcell quotes (and more)

Courtesy of the Kings’ website, here are some quotes from Teddy Purcell, who addresses the biggest knock against his game (as addressed by Dean Lombardi on this blog last week…)

PURCELL: “With the new coaching staff, it is really big on defense and that checking part of the game and that is one of the areas I need to work on and when I was up here last time, I felt I got more comfortable with that and did a better job of being consistent but I went down and worked on some of those things and I’m being rewarded again up here. I think they know that I’m an offensive player. I just have to go out and do the checking side of the game and be good in my own zone and the offense will take care of itself.”

More quotes, from more players, can be found here. I’ll try to get Terry Murray on the phone before tomorrow’s game against Philadelphia, because that game probably has some extra personal significance to him.

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Monarchs update

The Manchester Monarchs went 1-2 over the weekend. At 26-26-5, they’re in sixth place in the Atlantic Division and 11th in the 14-team Eastern Conference.

On Friday, the Monarchs lost 5-2 at Providence. Daniel Taylor started in goal but got pulled after he allowed three goals on six shots. Jonathan Bernier stopped 31 of 32 shots. Alec Martinez and Marty Murray scored goals.

On Saturday, the Monarchs beat Lowell 7-2 at home. Matt Moulson had a hat trick, and Justin Azevedo, Brian Boyle, Gabe Gauthier and David Meckler also scored goals. Bernier stopped 31 of 33 shots.

On Sunday, the Monarchs lost to Hartford 3-2 at home. Boyle and Oscar Moller scored goals and Bernier stopped 25 of 28 shots.

For the season, Marty Murray has a team-high 39 points (in 56 games) and Teddy Purcell (now with the Kings) had a team-high 16 goals (in 38 games). Trevor Lewis has 13 goals and 21 assists in 52 games. Jonathan Bernier has a 13-17-3 record, a 2.67 goals-against average and a .903 save percentage in 35 games. Daniel Taylor has a 6-2 record, a 2.57 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage in eight games.

Oscar Moller, on a rehab assignment, has one goal and three assists in four games.

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The return of Purcell

The other half of the Dustin Brown story is the return of Teddy Purcell, who has one goal and six assists in 17 games with the Kings this season. After being reassigned to Manchester last month, Purcell had seven goals and 12 assists in 17 games. For those who didn’t have the time and/or energy to read through all of the Dean Lombardi interview from last week, here’s what Lombardi had to say about Purcell.

LOMBARDI: “Well, they (Purcell, Matt Moulson and Brian Boyle) got beat out by two 19-year-olds, frankly. Moller and Simmonds. What was told to them, when they were up here, is, `You’re not hard enough.’ In the battle areas, they weren’t good enough. One of the things that happens — and this is the hard part — is they can still get their points in the minors.

“Purcell can still get his points. He’s in that gray area where he doesn’t have to do the `dirt’ work in order to get his point in the minors. But unless he’s going to do the dirt work, he’s not going to get his points up here. So you’ve got that rub. You’re trying to stay on him in the minors and say, `You’re getting two points a night, but you should be getting four.’ But he’s that talented, so it’s hard.

“The other night he had four points. Now, we’re calling down there and saying, OK, we know the guy can put up numbers. We saw what he did last year as a rookie, and it was pretty impressive, numbers-wise. But where did he score his goals? Did he go into the blue (goal crease)? Is his head down in the scrums? Where’s our progress there? Because it’s not good enough up here. Now, the second time he came back, I thought he was better. He is starting to figure it out, but it’s a process. Like I said, when he gets his points in the minors, it’s kind of hard to tell the kid, `It’s not good enough.’ (They think,) `What do you mean? I got my two points.”’

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