Jeff Carter scored three goals and Robyn Regehr struck once for the Kings in a 4-2 victory Sunday over the Ducks at the Honda Center. Carter’s goals sort of figured since he’s capable of such outbursts, but Regehr’s pinball shot in the first period didn’t. Regehr is what’s known as a defensive-minded defenseman. His offensive contributions are few and far between. They are not to be overlooked, however. Here are three things about the Kings’ second consecutive victory over their Southland rivals:
Rangers Marc Stall is checked into the boards by Kings Jeff Carter in the 3rd period of a Stanley Cup Final game. Carter had a hat trick in the Kings exhibition game Sunday. (Photo by John McCoy / Los Angeles Daily News)
First, Carter spoke after the game, a rarity. Here’s some of what he said when asked about his first three goals of the preseason: “You go to the net and good things are going to happen. Pucks drop down at your feet. It’s nothing different than what we usually do. Guys win battles and put pucks to the net. You get rewarded.”
Here’s what he said about linemates Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli: “They’ve both played great for us. They worked hard this summer to make sure they were ready to roll this year. It’s a lot of fun. It doesn’t matter how young they are or who they are or where they come from if they’re good enough to play in the league, and they’ve shown it. They weren’t given anything. They’ve earned it. They spent a lot of time in the minors.”
Second, Martin Jones looked sharp in goal again, stopping 33 shots. He looked poised and ready to play if needed if starter Jonathan Quick isn’t judged sound enough to start the regular season Oct. 8. Quick had offseason wrist surgery June 24 and hasn’t played in an exhibition game yet. He has been practicing with his teammates, however.
Third, the Kings know how to sit on a lead. They were outshot 18-7 in the third period, but neither their defense nor their goaltending cracked in crunch time. The Kings blanked the Ducks in the final period despite having to kill off a two-man disadvantage. They led 3-2 going into the third and finished up with a comprehensive 4-2 victory.
Jordan Nolan, Dwight King and Tyler Toffoli scored in regulation play and King supplied the winner in the shootout as the Kings defeated the Ducks 4-3 on Thursday at Staples Center. Toffoli assisted on King’s second-period goal and Martin Jones had 25 saves. Here are three takeaways from the Kings’ win:
First, Toffoli could be poised for a breakout season for the Kings. We’ve seen flashes of offensive brilliance from him from time to time, never more than during the playoffs while skating with Jeff Carter and Tanner Pearson. He scored a superb goal Thursday against the Ducks and set up King for the goal that tied the score at 2 in the second period. The pass was the better play than the shot, so he slipped a cross-ice pass to King, who beat Ducks goalie John Gibson. Here’s a link to the video highlights: http://kings.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=731825&navid=DL|LAK|home
Second, Ryan Kesler is going to be a major pain in the butt for everyone in the NHL now that he’s with the Ducks, a team that learned it must be better up the middle after losing to the Kings in the second round of the playoffs last spring. He’s strong on the puck, makes a pest of himself around the net and when placed in the right spot he could be a difference-maker against the Kings’ formidable centers, including Anze Kopitar.
Third, has everybody had enough of the preseason yet? Let’s get going, shall we?
As expected, with the Olympic break over, the Kings recalled rookie goaltender Martin Jones from their American Hockey League affiliate in Manchester, N.H., and sent goalie J.F. Berube back to the minors. Jones, who is 8-4-0 with a 1.71 goals-against average, is expected to serve as Jonathan Quick’s backup for the rest of the season. The Kings return to the ice Wednesday to face the Colorado Avalanche. Berube has appeared in 34 games this season, all with Manchester.
The Kings re-assigned goaltender Martin Jones and forward Tyler Toffoli to their American Hockey League affiliate in Manchester, N.H., for the Olympic break. The team also recalled goalie J.F. Berube. Jones won his first eight NHL starts and is 8-4-0 overall with a 1.71 goals-against average for the Kings. Toffoli has 19 points (10 goals, 19 assists) in 38 games for the Kings. Berube has a 19-13-2 record and a 2.43 goals-against average for 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.
Jonathan Quick returned to the Kings’ lineup Saturday, leaving little doubt that he was all over the groin strain that sidelined him for 24 games. Quick made 27 saves in the Kings’ 3-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks, and made it clear there was no need for the team to keep three goalies on their roster. Martin Jones, a 23-year-old rookie, was the odd-man out. Jones was re-assigned Sunday to the Kings’ American Hockey League affiliate at Manchester, N.H.
Jones took the league by storm, winning his first eight games in the NHL. He began with a nine-round shootout win over the Ducks as a fill-in for Ben Scrivens, who had filled in after Quick was hurt Nov. 12. Jones’ final numbers were remarkable, with an 8-3-0 record, a 1.41 goals-against average and a .950 save percentage plus three shutouts in 11 appearances. The Kings believe it was better to send him to Manchester so he could continue to play. He would likely have been scratched for games if he stayed with the Kings as the third goalie.
For now, the No. 1 goalie spot belongs to Quick, with Scrivens as his backup. Some day that order might change, but that day is not today. Quick figures to get the bulk of the work as long as he remains healthy.
The Kings did not practice Sunday, so Jones was unavailable for comment.
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.
Reminder: Saturday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks at Staples Center will begin at 7 p.m. to accommodate the Hockey Night in Canada broadcast.
Meanwhile, Kings goaltender Martin Jones was named the NHL’s co-Rookie of the Month for December, sharing the honor with Chicago Blackhawks goalie Antti Raanta. Jones was 8-2-0 with a 1.29 goals-against average and a .955 save percentage plus three shutouts in 10 starts for the Kings, who have been without No. 1 goalie Jonathan Quick since Nov. 12. Quick has a groin strain and his return to the lineup remains uncertain. Meanwhile, the Kings (25-13-4) have lost five consecutive games for the first time since December 2011. The skid dropped the Kings into third place in the hyper-competitive Pacific Division, only one point ahead of the fourth-place Canucks (23-12-7).
The Kings’ troubles have been two-fold. First, they are taking too many penalties and, second, they aren’t scoring enough goals. The Kings were the NHL’s second-most penalized team as of Friday morning, with 166 shorthanded chances in 42 games. Only the Ottawa Senators with 171 shorthanded chances in 43 games were on the penalty-kill more often than the Kings. As for scoring, the Kings had only 110 goals and were tied for fifth in scoring in the Pacific. Only the Calgary Flames had scored fewer goals than the Kings, with 96 as of Friday, within the division.
Here’s the second part of a group question-and-answer session with Kings goalie coach Bill Ranford:
Question: How’s he (Martin Jones) doing it? Who is this guy and how’s he doing it?
Ranford: “It’s simple. He put the work in. It’s all on him. There’s things over the last couple of years of his development that we’ve asked him to do to get him ready to step into the NHL, and he’s done that. He’s the type of kid I think from the very first day he’s stepped into this building, there was a professionalism about him, the way he approaches his position and his work-ethic and how he’s grown as a goalie down in Manchester and that’s really what it’s all about, developing and putting the work in. That’s on him.”
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