Rich Clune suffered a pulled groin muscle in Saturday night’s game and, according to Terry Murray, will be out “a couple weeks.” Murray declined to speculate whether the Kings would keep Clune on the NHL roster and put him on injured reserve if (as seems likely) he is unavailable for the start of the season.
Murray also indicated that Brayden Schenn will go back to juniors, so suddenly this whole roster situation is looking much less murky. Given the subtractions of Schenn and Clune (at least temporarily), it’s basically Harrold, Hickey, Ivanans, Lewis, Martinez, Richardson and Westgarth…seven players for six spots.
With Sean O’Donnell out for the first two games, it’s probably setting up a Martinez vs. Hickey choice.
As for the goalies, Murray wouldn’t tip his hand at all, as he praised both Ersberg and Bernier. In response to my direct question, Murray did say that Ersberg had proved he could handle the No. 2 goalie responsibilities.
It seems as though the players will learn their fates Tuesday morning at the latest.
Kings outshoot the Ducks 35-29 but fall in their preseason finale. Notes and quotes from the locker room to follow…
The Kings scored with their net empty, after a lengthy scrum in front of J.S. Giguere. Anze Kopitar finally knocked it in, with an assist to Ryan Smyth, who now has a four-point night.
The Ducks had a 3-on-1 break. Selanne dropped the puck for Koivu, who then fed it across to Joffrey Lupul. Bernier tried to slide across the crease to his right but had little chance. The goal came with 2:35 remaining.
…and the Kings answer right back with their own power-play goal. Anze Kopitar scored it, with an assist from Ryan Smyth, at the 9:04 mark. Dustin Brown also picks up an assist, after a scoring change.
With Raitis Ivanans in the penalty box for unsportsmanlike conduct, the Ducks scored on a Ryan Getzlaf goal, with assists to Ryan and Niedermayer (scoring change). The goal came 6:40 into the third period.
Kings are outshooting the Ducks 25-18. Shots are very spread out, but Matt Greene does have a team-high four blocked shots. Jonathan Bernier was tested a couple times on Ducks power plays and stopped 3 of 4 shots in the final 10-plus minutes.
Ryan Smyth scored his second power-play goal of the game, with 4:47 left in the period. Smyth had the puck down low, almost even with the end line to the right of the net, and beat Giguere at a tight angle. Kopitar and Brown got the assists.
Bobby Ryan scored his second goal of the game, on a one-timer from the slot, as Corey Perry charged the net. Jonathan Bernier complained that Perry interfered, and based on what I saw live, Bernier seemed to have a decent argument. The goal came with 7:56 left in the period.
At the midpoint of the second period — well, 10:11 to be exact — the Kings swapped Jonathan Bernier for Erik Ersberg in goal. Ersberg stopped 12 of 14 shots.