KINGS AT DEVILS
Faceoff: 4 p.m. TV/Radio: FSW, 790-AM
The Kings on Sunday recalled center Mike Richards from their American Hockey League team in Manchester, N.H., in an attempt to bolster their roster for the final 11 regular-season games. The Kings (34-23-14) practiced Sunday and Richards joined his teammates for the workout. He is expected to play against the Devils (31-30-11), two months after he cleared waivers and was assigned to the minors after recording five goals and 15 points in 47 games with the Kings. He had 14 points in 16 games for Manchester. The Kings desperately need depth at center, with Jarret Stoll sidelined by a concussion and Nick Shore failing to record a goal in 25 games and Andy Andreoff scoring only once in 17 contests. The Kings play their next five games on the road and finish with only three of their final 11 at Staples Center. The Devils are 10-4-2 in their last 16 games. They also are 10-4-1 in their last 15 home games. They lost 3-0 to the New York Islanders on Saturday, however.
The Kings on Sunday recalled center Mike Richards from their American Hockey League team in Manchester, N.H., in an attempt to bolster their roster for the final 11 regular-season games. The Kings (34-23-14) practiced the day before starting a five-game trip in Newark, N.J., and Richards joined his teammates for the workout.
He is expected to play Monday against the Devils (31-30-11), two months after he cleared waivers and was assigned to the minors after recording five goals and 15 points in 47 games with the Kings. He had 14 points in 16 games for Manchester. The Kings desperately need depth at center, with Jarret Stoll sidelined by a concussion and Nick Shore failing to record a goal in 25 games and Andy Andreoff scoring only once in 17 contests. Stoll had only six goals in 67 games before he was hurt March 12 He hasn’t scored a goal since Feb. 14 against the Capitals.
“You’ve got to produce,” Kings coach Darryl Sutter said of his centers after Saturday’s 4-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks, the team’s third defeat in four games. “At the end of the day, the guys (Shore and Andreoff) have played 20-some games and we’re into the stretch part and they have one or no goals. We’re having trouble scoring. The guys have to produce. That’s just being honest.”
The Kings have scored only six goals in their last four games.
The Kings on Thursday assigned forward Nick Shore and goalie J.F. Berube to their American Hockey League team in Manchester, N.H. Shore made his NHL debut Saturday against the Ducks and recorded his first point, an assist, Wednesday against the Sharks. Berube has yet to play in his first NHL game. He was selected recently to play in the AHL All-Star game.
The Kings’ Nick Shore made his NHL debut Saturday, logging 10 minutes, 35 seconds of ice time in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Ducks. He was credited with one shot and said Sunday he felt at home in the Kings’ lineup after he was recalled from their American Hockey League team in Manchester, N.H., last week.
Nick, 22, could face his brother, Drew, if both are in their lineups Monday night when the Kings play host to the Flames at Staples Center. Drew Shore, 23, made his NHL debut for the Flames in Thursday’s victory over the Arizona Coyotes.
“I haven’t seen him play in a bit,” Nick Shore said after Sunday’s optional practice when asked for a scouting report on Drew. “Sometimes I catch his games. We have similarities. We see the game the same way. He plays a little more north-south than I do. It’s the same sort of thing. He likes being a good responsible player in all three (zones), and then, hopefully, the offense comes.”
The Kings rimmed their roster by three more Monday, sending centers Nic Dowd and Nick Shore and defenseman Vincent LoVerde to their American Hockey League team in Manchester, N.H. The Kings have 29 players remaining on their roster.
The Kings loaned defenseman Derek Forbort and center NIck Shore to the Manchester (N.H.) Monarchs of the American Hockey League, cutting their training-camp roster to 29.
The Kings lost both split-squad games Sunday night to the Phoenix Coyotes. The Staples Center squad fell 5-1 and the Glendale, Ariz., lineup lost 4-2. Here are three things to take away from the Kings’ first exhibitions of 2013-14:
The Kings rookies defeated their Ducks counterparts 3-2 on Monday in El Segundo, taking a hard-hitting victory in the second of two games over their rivals. Here’s what stood out most of all in a well-played and very well-attended game:
Second, there aren’t too many job openings on the Kings’ roster this season (as in, maybe none) and it’s likely many of their rookies are years away from being ready to play in the NHL but there were several players who looked sharp. Jordan Weal was one. Nick Shore was another. Alex Roach was a third. An old scout told me you look for players who make things happen during a game. Those three were active participants, rather than observers during Monday’s game. The puck seemed to follow them around the ice.
Christopher Gibson, a goaltender from the Chicoutimi Sagueneens of the QMJHL, became the Kings’ first pick at the Entry Draft Saturday, going 49th overall in the second round.
Gibson has an interesting background: His father Peter Gibson, a martial arts instructor, was born in England. His mother, Ulla Perttilahti, is Finnish. Gibson grew up in Karkkila, Finland, but at age 15 left for North America to play hockey.
In his second major junior season, Gibson fnished first in the QMJHL with a .920 save percentage and second with a 2.42 goals-against average last season. In four playoff games, those numbers dipped to .865 and 5.20, but he was good enough to become the third goalie drafted this year (Magnus Hellberg went to Nashville at #38 and John Gibson went to Anaheim at #39).
The scouting report on Gibson is that he uses his 6-foot-1 frame and positioning to cut down on opposing shooters’ angles.
The Kings used their final five picks to select center Andy Andreoff (third round, 80th overall), left wing Nick Shore (third round, 82nd overall), left wing Michael Mersch (fourth round, 110th overall), left wing Joel Lowry (fifth round, 140th overall) and left wing Michael Schumacher (seventh round, 200th overall).