Kings lose fourth straight, shakeup questions begin


Lisa Dillman of the L.A. Times reports the Kings were booed off the ice last night following a 2-1 loss to Dallas.

The loss was Los Angeles’ fourth straight (and seventh in its last nine games). Over that period, the Kings scored just six goals and now sit last overall in goals per game (2.21), five-on-five goals (38) and first period goals (11).

Yes, that’s right — the Kings have scored 11 times in 29 first periods.

As such, Dillman asked Kings captain Dustin Brown about a potential shakeup. Given crosstown rival Anaheim made a big move in light of its struggles — firing head coach Randy Carlyle after losing 16 of 19 games — it’s been suggested L.A. do the same.

So, does Brown see change on the horizon?

“It’s hard to say. I’ve never been on a team that’s good, that’s gone through this,” Brown said. “That’s probably the biggest difference for me. We have a good team in here. We’re capable of doing everything we need to with the people we have in here.

“I don’t think guys consciously think about that. Maybe it’s in the back of some guys’ heads.”

It’s probably at the front of head coach Terry Murray’s head. As Brough wrote earlier in the week, the veteran bench boss has been in L.A. since the start of the 2008-09 season, yet hasn’t led his team past the first round of the playoffs. This was supposed to be the season the Kings put it all together, but clearly that’s not happening — and Murray has to be feeling the heat.

Much like we heard from the Ducks prior to Carlyle’s firing, Brown alluded to a lack of urgency and intensity in the team’s play.

“Right now, we’ve got to be more desperate,” he said. “We’re not desperate enough right now.”

The verdict is in: Dubinsky gets one game for cross-checking Crosby

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Brandon Dubinsky has been suspended one game for his cross-check to the back of Sidney Crosby‘s neck.

The incident took place during the second period of Friday’s game.

Crosby did head to the locker room after the play, but he was able to return.

When deciding on the number of games to give Dubinsky, here’s what the NHL took into account:

  1. Dubinsky delivered a clear cross-check.
  2. Dubinsky has been fined before, but never suspended.
  3. Crosby wasn’t seriously injured on the play.

“In this case, while Dubinsky’s cross-check isn’t overly violent or forceful, it is an intentional strike to an opponent’s head using his stick,” the NHL said in their explanation of the play. “This is not a case where the head contact was caused by a sudden movement by Crosby or by a stick riding up a player’s back or shoulders and making subsequent contact with the head.”

Click on the video at the top of the page to watch the NHL’s full explanation.

The Blue Jackets take on the Blues in St. Louis tonight.

Ready to Roll: Oilers activate Schultz from IR, send down Reinhart

Justin Schultz
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The Edmonton Oilers activated defenseman Justin Schultz off injured reserve and assigned Griffin Reinhart to the minors.

Schultz has missed the last 14 games because of a back injury, but he’ll suit up in Saturday’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The 25-year-old has one assist and a minus-6 rating in nine games in ’15-16.

Here’s his interview with Oilers TV from earlier today:

Reinhart was acquired in an off-season trade with the New York Islanders this summer.

The former fourth overall pick has no points and a minus-1 rating in 12 games with the Oilers.

The Leafs will be without Reimer on Saturday

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James Reimer (lower body) won’t be available to play in Saturday’s game against Washington.

Reimer was injured during a team practice earlier this week and although the injury didn’t appear to be serious, it will prevent him from suiting up in at least one game.

The Leafs originally thought that the 27-year-old would be good to go for this tilt, but head coach Mike Babcock said Reimer didn’t feel good enough to play.

Reimer’s emerged as the go-to-guy for the Maple Leafs this season and for good reason.

He has 7-3-4 record with a 2.07 goals-against-average and a .934 save percentage in 15 games.

Another reason the Leafs have been counting on him so much is because Jonathan Bernier‘s been awful.

Bernier will get another opportunity to prove himself on Saturday night, but he faces a stiff test against Alex Ovechkin and company.

The 27-year-old has an 0-7-1 record with a 3.17 goals-against-average and a .895 save percentage in ’15-16.

In a corresponding move, the Leafs sent defenseman Scott Harrington to the minors and recalled goalie Garret Sparks.

Sparks was Toronto’s seventh round pick in 2011.

The 22-year-old has an 8-2-1 record with the Toronto Marlies this season.

War of words continues between Rangers and Bruins on Saturday


The Rangers are getting ready for their second straight matinee game on Saturday, but head coach Alain Vigneault wasn’t done addressing yesterday’s loss to the Bruins.

After Friday’s game, Bruins coach Claude Julien wasn’t pleased with Henrik Lundqvist‘s “acting” that led to a goalie interference penalty being called on forward Brad Marchand (above) and he let everyone know it in his postgame press conference.

On Saturday, it was Alain Vigneault’s turn to lash out.

“Well, (the Rangers public relations staff) filled me in a little bit on what was said after the game,” Vigneault said via the New York Daily News. “I mean it’s a little disappointing. Obviously everybody saw the knee to the head. The comments on Hank were very inappropriate. The way Hank conducts himself, on the ice, away from the rink, off the ice, the example that he sets. Who would you rather have as a son, Henrik Lundqvist or Brad Marchand? For him to say things like that about Hank, totally wrong, and probably Claude is getting a little older and needs to check his eyesight.”

The Rangers will take on the Flyers at 1:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.