The Kings’ scoring struggles are nothing new. They had one goal in two games plus one period before taking the ice to start the second Thursday in Ottawa. Then erupted for three in the final period, breaking a 2-2 tie with the Senators and holding on for a 5-3 victory. The Kings improved to 12-2-1 in their last 15 games with Ottawa, dating to Jan. 16, 2001. They also have won four in a row over the Sens.
Defenseman Jake Muzzin tied a career high with three assists.
Trevor Lewis scored the game-winning goal, his first GWG since last March 22.
Drew Doughty had two assists for his third multi-point game of the season.
(Thanks to the NHL’s crack stat crew for the facts and figures).
The Kings activated forward Trevor Lewis from the injured-reserve list in time for Friday’s game against the Red Wings in Detroit and returned forward David Van der Gulik to the Manchester (N.H.) of the American Hockey League. Lewis played in the Kings’ season-opening game Oct. 8, suffered an upper-body injury and then sat out the next nine games. Van der Gulik played one game, Thursday’s contest against the Penguins in Pittsburgh. He has two goals in five games with Manchester.
The Kings will be at something close to full strength when they face the Penguins on Thursday in Pittsburgh. After playing one man shy of the usual 20-man roster for Tuesday’s overtime loss to the Philadelphia Flyers because of injuries, a suspension and salary-cap issues, the Kings finally got some relief Thursday. They recalled forward David Van der Gulik from their American Hockey League team in Manchester, N.H., and he’s expected to be in the lineup Thursday.
The Kings were granted an emergency roster exemption by the NHL after playing with only 19 healthy and eligible players Tuesday, which enabled them to recall Van der Gulik from Manchester. Otherwise, they would be forced to continue playing with only 11 forwards while Marian Gaborik, Anze Kopitar and Trevor Lewis recover from upper-body injuries, They will have 12 healthy bodies for Thursday’s game.
The Kings also are without suspended defenseman Slava Voynov, who was banned indefinitely by the NHL after his domestic violence arrest Oct. 20.
Kings forwards Marian Gaborik and Trevor Lewis continue to be sidelined by upper-body injuries, and there is no timetable for their returns. The Kings did not have a healthy or eligible player on their roster for Thursday’s game against the Sabres. Gaborik sat out for the fourth game and Lewis did not play for the sixth time.
Trevor Lewis, who was injured in the Kings’ season-opening loss to the San Jose Sharks, was placed on the injured reserve list Tuesday because of an upper-body injury. The move is retroactive to Oct. 8, which was when Lewis was hurt. He played 10 minutes, 29 seconds and recorded a team-leading six shots on net in the Kings’ 4-0 loss to the Sharks. He hasn’t skated with the team since and has missed three games.
Rookie center Andy Andreoff is expected to make his NHL debut Tuesday, with the Kings playing against the Edmonton Oilers at Staples Center without the services of injured veteran forwards Marian Gaborik and Trevor Lewis. Andreoff skated on a rugged-looking line with wingers Kyle Clifford and Jordan Nolan.
Said Andreoff: “Obviously, I’m going to be a little nervous for my first NHL game. It helps a lot with the guys on the team. Everyone’s really close. Everyone’s gone though it, so you’ve just got to get the jitters out in the first shift with a big hit or a simple play. I’m looking forward to it. I played with them in Vegas (in an exhibition game), so we have a little chemistry. They work hard in the corners. I’m looking forward to playing with them.”
Andreoff said several family members would attend the game.
“They’ve been here for a week now,” he said. “It’s definitely nice for them to be here for my first NHL game. They’ve always been supporting me my whole life. It’ll be nice to be celebrating my first game with them. My mom, sister and brother-in-law. You’ve been dreaming about this your life, playing in the driveway, a little road hockey with your buddies, so it’s great to be in such a great organization for your first NHL team. Just practicing with them in the playoffs and watching them and learning all the little things they do to win a Stanley Cup, so I’m happy to be part of this team this year.
“I’m sure my family and and friends will be watching me. They’ve supported my through my whole career. I’m really close with all of them. I’m sure I’ll be getting a bunch of messages after the game.”
Andreoff also said the Kings’ veteran players have been very supportive.
“They’ve all been through it, especially the older guys,” he said. “They’ve given me a heads-up and put me under their wing. That’s why, I guess, they’re such a good team, because they’re all really close.”
Trevor Lewis signed a two-season contract extension with the Kings on Tuesday, which could keep him in uniform through the 2015-16 season. Lewis isn’t the sort of player who will fill up the scoresheet with goals and assists, but he is the kind of guy who fits neatly into coach Darryl Sutter’s no-nonsense style. Lewis has only 11 points in 70 games this season, setting a career high with six goals. Those are modest numbers, to be sure, but Sutter likes the way Lewis battles for the puck along the boards and in front of the net and how well he plays defensively.
It’s a match made in heaven.
The Kings activated left wing Kyle Clifford from injured reserve before Saturday’s home game against the Colorado Avalanche. They placed forward Trevor Lewis on IR. Clifford was sidelined by a concussion since he was injured during the Kings’ victory Nov. 9 over the Vancouver Canucks. Lewis has an unspecified lower-body injury. Clifford had one goal in 16 games. Lewis was scoreless in 23 games. Forward Jeff Carter (broken foot), defenseman Matt Greene (upper body) and goalie Jonathan Quick (groin strain) remain on the IR.
Coach Darryl Sutter ranked Trevor Lewis as the Kings’ second-best penalty-killer after Anze Kopitar. It almost goes without saying that goaltender Jonathan Quick is actually the Kings’ best penalty-killer, what with his customary array of quality saves whenever the team is shorthanded.
“We have good penalty-killing because of our goaltending,” Sutter said.
Avoiding penalties is always the first step, though.
“You have to learn how to do that,” Sutter said of playing a hard-nosed but legal game. “It wasn’t a very disciplined team at one point, and if you look at teams that aren’t very disciplined the last few years, they have a hard time making the playoffs.”
Free agent forward Trevor Lewis agreed with the Kings on a one-season deal reportedly worth $1.325 million Tuesday, avoiding arbitration and more or less bringing an end to general manager Dean Lombardi’s summer to-do list. Lewis’ deal would bring the Kings’ salary cap space down to about $200,000, give or take a dime or two. Lewis’ signing gives the Kings a 24-man roster. He avoided an Aug. 2 arbitration hearing in Toronto.
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