Under a microscope, some recent Kings moves don’t look so hot this week

First, goaltender Ben Scrivens made 59 saves in the Edmonton Oilers’ victory over the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday. Then, Daniel Carcillo scored the winning goal in the New York Rangers’ win Wednesday over the Islanders. Finally, Jeff Zatkoff was in goal for the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 4-1 victory Thursday over the Kings. The Kings traded Scrivens and Carcillo earlier this season, but didn’t acquire much in return. They also didn’t have a place in the lineup for Zatkoff.

Zatkoff expressed no ill will towards the Kings. In fact, he sounded a thankful tone.

“I never played any regular-season games, but I spent a lot of time in this organization and they’re a big part of the reason I’m here today with this organization,” Zatkoff said. “They put me in an opportunity to succeed in Manchester and they gave me two of the best goalie coaches in the game with Bill Ranford and Kim Dillabaugh there that I was able to work with for five to six years, so I owe a lot to them.”

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Links to Oilers coverage of trade of Ben Scrivens from Kings to Edmonton

Here’s a link to the Oilers’ website, which includes a radio interview with goaltender Ben Scrivens, who was traded Wednesday from the Kings to Edmonton: http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blog.htm?id=23&navid=DL|EDM|home

Among other things, Scrivens said he was “shocked” by the trade.

“It never occurred to me. I thought I’d be in L.A. for the rest of the season, heading into free agency, and that’s when the changes would come,” he said. “Definitely shocked, but that’s the nature of the business.”

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Kings trade goaltender Ben Scrivens, recall Martin Jones from Manchester

The Kings traded backup goaltender Ben Scrivens to the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday for a third-round pick in the draft in June. They also recalled rookie goalie Martin Jones from their American Hockey League affiliate in Manchester, N.H.

Scrivens will have a chance to compete for the starting position with the lackluster Oilers, last in the Pacific Division and the Western Conference standings with a 15-29-5 record. Jones will serve as as Jonathan Quick’s backup with the Kings.

It figures to be a lonely job since Quick is expected to get the majority of the starts the rest of the regular season and during the playoffs. Quick is 13-6-1 with a 2.12 goals-against average and two shutouts in 21 games. He was sidelined for 24 games after suffering a groin strain Nov. 12.

Jones’ 8-0-0 start to his NHL career while filling in for Quick cast doubt on Scrivens’ future with the Kings. Jones tied a league record by winning his first eight starts and was 8-3-0 with a 1.41 goals-against average and three shutouts in 11 games before he was re-assigned to the minors.

Scrivens was 7-5-4 with a 1.97 goals-against average and three shutouts in 19 games. The 27-year-old was acquired with forward Matt Frattin in the deal that sent backup goalie Jonathan Bernier to the Toronto Maple Leafs last June 23.

Clearly, the Maple Leafs got the better end of the swap. Scrivens is no longer with the Kings and Frattin has scored only six points (two goals, four assists) in 32 games. Bernier is 15-14-4 with a 2.58 goals-against average and one shutout in 34 games for Toronto.

 

 

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Kings activate goaltender Jonathan Quick from the injured-reserve list

The Kings activated goalie Jonathan Quick from IR in time for him to start Saturday night’s game against Roberto Luongo and the Vancouver Canucks. Quick sat out the last 24 games after suffering a groin injury during the Kings’ loss Nov. 12 to the Buffalo Sabres. Ben Scrivens served as Quick’s backup for the game against the Canucks, with rookie Martin Jones expected to be sent to Manchester (N.H.) of the American Hockey League sooner rather than later. Quick went into Saturday’s game with a 10-5-0 record with a 2.35 goals-against average and one shutout.

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Question-and-answer session with Kings goalie coach Bill Ranford (part 1)

Here’s the first part of a group question-and-answer session with Kings goaltending coach Bill Ranford:

Question: How much of it is Ben Scrivens and Martin Jones and how much is it the defense?

Ranford: “I think it’s a combination of both. You need your goalie to make the big saves at the right time and you have to play solid defense. I think this group here, going back to the Terry Murray takes, has taken a lot of pride in their defense. That hasn’t changed.”

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Goaltender Martin Jones ruins Ben Scrivens’ Toronto homecoming story

So, I had all this fine stuff saved up for Ben Scrivens’ return to Toronto, but then came word that he wouldn’t start Wednesday’s game against his old team. Martin Jones would be in the lineup, having recorded victories in his first three NHL games, including back-to-back shutouts. Scrivens talked the other day about enjoying his time with the Maple Leafs, but didn’t think he’d grow misty-eyed at the sight of downtown TO when the team bus cruised down the Gardiner Expressway from Pearson International Airport. He also said he was happy to be a King now.

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Looking ahead to the Kings’ game Tuesday against the Montreal Canadiens

The Kings departed from LAX on Monday and they moved closer to becoming whole again, with defenseman Matt Greene and forward Trevor Lewis inching toward their respective returns from injured reserve. Goaltender Jonathan Quick is expected to be sidelined until Christmas at the earliest, however.

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Looking ahead to Saturday’s home game against the Calgary Flames

The Kings (16-6-4) tied a franchise record by gaining a point in 11 consecutive games when they pushed the San Jose Sharks to a shootout before falling Wednesday. They are 7-0-4 in their last 11, and according to team historian/radio play-by-play man Nick Nickson, have given up two goals or fewer during that span. They also have taken four straight games to OT or a shootout.

Goaltender Ben Scrivens has a 5-0-3 record and a 1.34 goals-against average with two shutouts, sparking the Kings since No. 1 goalie Jonathan Quick suffered a groin strain Nov. 12 that’s expected to keep him out until Christmas. Top-line center Anze Kopitar leads the Kings with 23 points (seven goals, 16 assists), and Mike Richards has 20 points (six goals, 14 assists).

The injury-riddled Flames fell to 8-13-4 with a 5-2 loss Friday to the Ducks in Anaheim. T.J. Galiardi (back) Mark Giordano (ankle), Curtis Glencross (knee), Sean Monahan (foot) and Dennis Wideman (hand) are not expected to play tonight for the Flames. Calgary found it impossible to contain the Ducks’ top offensive players, and the Flames won’t have it any easier tonight against the Kings.

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Looking ahead to the Kings’ game Wednesday against the San Jose Sharks

The Kings defeated the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 in overtime Monday to extend their points streak to 10 consecutive games (7-0-3), one shy of the franchise record set in 1973-74 and duplicated in 2010-11. Ben Scrivens made 37 saves as the Kings (16-6-3) rallied to win on Mike Richards’ tying goal late in the third and Anze Kopitar’s winning strike in OT. Scrivens is 5-0-3 since No. 1 goalie Jonathan Quick suffered a groin injury that’s expected to keep him out until Christmas at the earliest. Jeff Carter returned to the Kings’ lineup Monday after sitting out 10 games because of a foot injury suffered during an OT victory over the Sharks on Oct. 30. Carter assisted on Richards’ goal, his sixth of the season. The Kings activated Carter from the injured-reserve list Monday and placed Quick on IR. Joe Thornton leads the Sharks (15-3-5) with 24 points, including 22 assists. Only the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin, with 23 assists, has more than Thornton through Monday’s games. Kopitar leads the Kings with 23 points, including 16 assists.The Kings haven’t won in San Jose since posting a 4-0 shutout Dec.27, 2010.

 

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Three things about the Kings’ OT victory over the Vancouver Canucks

The Kings rallied for a 3-2 overtime victory Monday night over the Canucks in Vancouver, B.C. Anze Kopitar scored the winner 48 seconds into the five-minute overtime and Ben Scrivens made 37 saves to extend the Kings’ streak of recording at least one point to 10 consecutive games (7-0-3). Mike Richards scored the tying goal late in the third period and Kyle Clifford also scored for the Kings (16-6-3). Here are three more takeaways from Monday’s victory:

1. Scrivens continues to amaze. The Kings haven’t lost in regulation play since he took over for an injured Jonathan Quick late in OT of what became a shootout loss Nov. 12 to the Buffalo Sabres. The loss of Quick could have sent the Kings reeling, but Scrivens has stepped in and there has been zero drop off in the Kings’ play in net. Scrivens could be due for a night off soon, with rookie Martin Jones making his NHL debut. Then again, maybe Darryl Sutter will stick with Scrivens until Quick returns from a groin injury that’s expected to sideline him until Christmas.

2. Kopitar continues to amaze. With forward Jeff Carter sidelined for most of the month but a foot injury, Kopitar has regained his scoring touch. His OT goal against the Canucks was his seventh of the season and his second in OT. He leads the Kings with 23 points, including 16 assists. His long scoring drought to end last season and to begin this one are largely forgotten.

3. The Kings continue to amaze. The Kings haven’t dropped a game in regulation time since falling to the Nashville Predators 4-3 on Nov. 2 at Staples Center. Putting them away has been next to impossible since then, with their only three defeats coming in a shootout loss to Buffalo (when Scrivens had the impossible task of entering the game with 1:20 left in OT after Quick was hurt), then an OT loss to Jaromir Jagr and the New Jersey Devils followed by an OT defeat to the Colorado Avalanche. If you’re scoring at home, the Kings have secured 17 out of a possible 20 points in their last 10 games. That’s just what’s been needed to keep the Kings in the thick of the hyper-competitive Western Conference race.

 

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