Three things about the Kings rout Tuesday of the Montreal Canadiens

The Kings continued their superb play with a 6-0 beatdown of the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday. Six different players scored for the Kings (20-7-4) and rookie goaltender Martin Jones recorded his second consecutive shutout in only his third NHL game. So, far Jones is 3-0-0, having given up only two goals in a 3-2 shootout win over the Ducks. The Kings’ power play finally clicked, ending a streak of eight-plus games without a man-advantage goal. Montreal was dominant in the first period, but couldn’t crack Jones and was well-beaten by night’s end.

Here are three things about the game:

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Kings Drew Doughty, Jake Muzzin paired for now but probably not forever

Drew Doughty and Jake Muzzin seem like a defense pairing built to last, a union of two offensive threats. Or is it?

“Evaluate it every game,” coach Darryl Sutter said Friday, the day before the Kings played host to the New York Islanders at Staples Center. “Quite honest, when we went into Anaheim the other day, the last time Jake played in Anaheim, he was (poor), so don’t think I didn’t talk to him about it. Because you’re evaluated at the end of every game. Because at the end of the day … we’re not that far from Jake Muzzin being a healthy scratch. Not that far removed. He’s a young guy and we’re looking for consistency.”

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Kings make their talking points after defeating Stars in their homecomeing

Right wing Justin Williams talked about it after the Kings’ 5-2 victory Saturday over the Dallas Stars at Staples Center. Defenseman Jake Muzzin addressed it, too. So did defenseman Drew Doughty after he scored what proved to be the game-winning goal in the Kings’ fifth victory in their last six games. None of the three needed prompting.

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Kings and Senators will have different looks for Wednesday’s game

If all goes as expected, and that’s a big if when it comes to coach Darryl Sutter’s lineups, then the Kings will have a different look for Wednesday’s game against the Ottawa Senators. Left wing Daniel Carcillo skated with center Mike Richards and right wing Jeff Carter on the Kings’ second line Tuesday in practice and during Wednesday’s morning skate. Left wing Dwight King appeared to be out of the lineup, as did defenseman Jake Muzzin. Carcillo was scratched for each of the Kings’ first three games.

For the Senators, team captain Jason Spezza was ruled out of the lineup because of a groin injury. Spezza said he wanted to play against the Kings, but the coaching staff and the club’s medical staff overruled him. “We don’t want this groin injury to become a problem,” Ottawa coach Paul MacLean said. The Senators play the Kings on Wednesday, the San Jose Sharks on Saturday and the Ducks on Sunday before facing the Phoenix Coyotes in the last of six straight road games to start the season.

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Kings coach Darryl Sutter on D Jake Muzzin: ‘He’s struggling a lot’

Kings coach Darryl Sutter said he is concerned about the lackluster play of defenseman Jake Muzzin, who scored their only goal in a 3-1 loss Monday to the New York Rangers. Muzzin did not have a good game controlling the puck or keeping opposing stickhandlers out of threatening positions, however. He also had plenty of turnovers, which prompted a reporter to bring up Muzzin’s poor play after Tuesday’s practice.

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Expected roster cuts, or what the Kings’ lineup might look like come Oct. 3

The Kings’ roster stood at 31 names as of Wednesday afternoon, and there aren’t likely to be any surprises when they take the ice for their season-opening game Oct. 3 against the Minnesota Wild at St. Paul, Minn. In fact, the Kings’ lineup for Tuesday’s 2-1 exhibition victory over the visiting Ducks was about what you might expect to see next week.

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Kings prospect watch: defenseman Jake Muzzin

It’s hard to describe a player with seven goals and nine assists and a team-leading plus-minus defensive rating of plus-16 in 45 games last season as a prospect. But it’s important to remember that Jake Muzzin would have spent last season with the Manchester (N.H.) Monarchs of the AHL if Willie Mitchell (knee) hadn’t missed all of 2012-13 and Matt Greene (back) hadn’t sat out all but five games.

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Kings sign defenseman Jake Muzzin to a new two-year, $2-million contract

Jake Muzzin most likely would have spent the lockout-shortened NHL season in the minor leagues, but he got a promotion because of injuries to Kings defensemen Matt Greene and Willie Mitchell. Muzzin made the most of his chance and earned a new two-year, $2-million contract. Muzzin and the Kings agreed to a new deal Friday morning, keeping the team’s defense corps nearly intact for next season.

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Trevor Lewis and three other Kings free agents elect salary arbitration

Restricted free agents Trevor Lewis, Alec Martinez, Jake Muzzin and Jordan Nolan elected salary arbitration Wednesday, an attempt to solve contract impasses with the Kings. They are four of 21 players league-wide who elected to go this route. Teams also can take players to arbitration in order to settle disputes. The deadline is Thursday at 2 p.m. (PDT). The ruling of the arbitrator is final. Hearings are scheduled for July 22 through Aug. 6 in Toronto. Lewis, Martinez, Muzzin and Nolan became free agents July 5.

 

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Kings free agent tracker

Friday’s opening day of free agency altered the Kings’ roster and the first members of the Stanley Cup championship team of 2012 departed. Here’s a look at the Kings’ free agents, where they went, who arrived and who still needs a contract (as of July 6):

Unrestricted free agents

Dustin Penner, left wing: Unsigned.

Keaton Ellerby, defenseman: Re-signed for one season, $735,000.

Brad Richardson, center: Signed two-year, $2.3-million deal with Vancouver.

Rob Scuderi, defenseman: Signed four-year, $13.5-million deal with Pittsburgh.

Restricted free agents

Kyle Clifford, left wing: Unsigned.

Trevor Lewis, center: Unsigned.

Alec Martinez, defenseman: Unsigned.

Jake Muzzin, defenseman: Unsigned.

Jordan Nolan, center: Unsigned.

Outside free agent

Jeff Schultz, defenseman: Signed one-year, $700,000 contract.

 

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