The Kings gave up two power-play goals to the San Jose Sharks in three shorthanded situations during a 4-2 loss Wednesday at the SAP Center, continuing a troubling trend going into the All-Star break. The Kings’ penalty-killing unit is 25th in the 30-team NHL at the break with a lackluster 77.8 percent success rate. For a team that prides itself on hard work and a blue-collar attitude, that’s truly hard to believe. Penalty-killing is often about goaltending, as Kings coach Darryl Sutter will tell you, but it’s also about hustle and desire and also staying out of the penalty box. The Kings average 10.4 penalty minutes per game, ranking as the 12th-most penalized team in the league, and that’s a problem if their PK is not good enough.
“We have to do a better job in certain areas,” Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr told reporters Wednesday. “Tonight, the penalty kill, you can’t afford to give up two power-play goals against and really expect to win too many games, especially on he road. It’s a tough hole to dig yourselves out of when that happens.”
With defenseman Robyn Regehr back in the lineup after a 12-game absence because of a broken finger, the Kings decided Wednesday to loan Jeff Schultz to their American Hockey League team in Manchester, N.H. Schultz suddenly was the odd-man out in the Kings’ defense corps after Regher returned Monday. He played nine games for the Kings and had one assist. He also played in 26 games earlier this season with Manchester and recorded three goals and six assists.
Defenseman Robyn Regehr sat out for 12 games after breaking a finger during the Kings’ victory Dec. 18 over the St. Louis Blues. His return to the lineup Monday was welcomed by the Kings, but it wasn’t exactly a winning reunion. The Kings suffered a 2-1 overtime loss to the Calgary Flames. Regehr couldn’t make it through the opening shift of the game without getting hurt. He deflected a puck into his lip and was forced to the dressing room for immediate repairs.
“It felt really good to get back out on the ice again,” Regehr said after he played 18:26, recorded a team-leading seven hits and was on the ice for both of the Flames’ goals. “It’s never fun when you’re injured and have to watch the games from the stands or underneath (in the dressing room). As players, we want to be out there playing and trying to help the team win and also be involved with the teammates. So, it felt really nice to be doing that again.
“There was a little bit of a transition there for me. I had a rough start in the first shift, with deflecting the puck into my lip, but I managed to get back into the game a little after that.”
The Kings on Monday activated defenseman Robyn Regehr (broken hand) from injured reserve and placed goaltender Martin Jones (back spasms) on IR. Regehr is expected to play in Monday’s game against the Calgary Flames. Regehr skated with Alec Martinez during the Kings’ morning skate in El Segundo. Jones’ place as backup to Jonathan Quick will be filled by J.F. Berube.
The Kings on Saturday recalled defenseman Jeff Schultz from Manchester of the American Hockey League after re-assigning him there earlier in the week. The Kings are shorthanded in their defense corps because of the NHL’s indefinite suspension of Slava Voynov because of a domestic violence charge and also because of a hand injury to Robyn Regehr that’s expected to sideline him for up to three weeks.
The Kings’ defense corps took another hit Friday morning, when general manager Dean Lombardi said veteran Robyn Regehr would be sidelined for between two and three weeks because of a hand injury suffered during a 6-4 victory Thursday over the St. Louis Blues.
The Kings placed Regehr on injured reserve and recalled defenseman Jeff Schultz from their American Hockey League team in Manchester, N.H. The 34-year-old Regehr was injured while blocking a shot midway through the game against the Blues.
“That’s the way she goes sometimes,” defenseman Jake Muzzin said of the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings’ lack of good fortune to start their title defense. “When one guy goes down, other guys need to step up. That’s what we’re going to have to do to keep winning.”
Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr suffered an unspecified upper-body injury during their 6-4 victory Thursday over the St. Louis Blues and could not finish the game. It wasn’t immediately clear how serious the injury was or whether Regehr could play in Saturday afternoon’s game against the Arizona Coyotes at Staples Center.
One thing was for sure, however. The Kings cannot afford to lose another veteran defenseman for a prolonged period. They have been without Slava Voynov since Oct. 20, when he was suspended by the NHL because of a domestic violence arrest. Voynov was ordered to stand trial in the case earlier this week.
Regehr has been sidelined for three games already this season because of an undisclosed injury. Alec Martinez sat out seven games because of an upper-body injury and Jake Muzzin missed six games because of an upper-body injury.
Kings coach Darryl Sutter had this to say after defensive-minded defensemen Matt Greene and Robyn Regehr scored second-period goals in a 5-2 victory over the Florida Panthers: “It’s good to see Robyn and Greene score. They don’t get much credit and they give you the blue collar every night. They are our two most consistent defensemen, for sure. It’s always good to see them score.”
Kings defenseman Alec Martinez had finger surgery Friday.
If it’s not one thing, it’s another for the Kings. Just when it seemed their defense crops might be back to something close to full strength again, they lost another valuable member when Alec Martinez underwent finger surgery Friday morning.
Kings general manager Dean Lombardi informed the club’s website of Martinez’s surgery, but did not provide further details. It wasn’t immediately certain how long the Stanley Cup playoffs hero would be sidelined, or precisely what was done during the procedure.
Martinez, who scored the series-winning goals in Game 7 of the Western Conference final against the Chicago Blackhawks and Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final against the New York Rangers, was injured while blocking a shot in the second period of Thursday’s loss to the Dallas Stars.
His absence means the Kings are down to only six healthy and eligible defenseman again, with Robyn Regehr poised to return to the lineup for today’s game against the Ducks after sitting out three contests because of a lower-body injury.
Slava Voynov continues to serve an indefinite suspension imposed by the NHL after his arrest last month on domestic violence charges after an incident at his Redondo Beach home. The Kings placed him on non-roster status earlier in the week in order to sign free agent Jamie McBain.
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.