LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 20: Fans hold signs as the Los Angeles Kings warm up prior to the game against the Phoenix Coyotes in Game Four of the Western Conference Finals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center on May 20, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)

Penner: Kings’ Game 4 loss is “a good lesson for us.”


The Los Angeles Kings dropped Game 4, but given that they still have a 3-1 series lead, they have no reason to panic.

“It’s a good lesson for us,” Dustin Penner said of the loss. “We had got the bounces, for the most part, until tonight. They threw themselves in front of a lot of shots. Their PK was really good and they got a power-play goal. So, they definitely earned this one, and we couldn’t find an answer for Smith.”

Penner thinks the Kings need to put more pressure on Smith in the future.

“You talk about screen, tip, rebound, and we didn’t get enough of that tonight,” Penner said. “We let him see too many pucks, and we didn’t get enough second chances.”

Anze Kopitar thinks the Kings need to simplify things when they have the man advantage and get more bodies in front of the Coyotes’ net to make Smith’s job harder. At the same time, Kopitar also isn’t going to blow this loss out of proportion.

“We’re still in a good position,” Kopitar said. “We have to hit the reset button, refocus and make sure we have a lot of energy for Tuesday.”

After all, there are plenty of teams that have won Game 4 when facing elimination. The vast majority of those teams weren’t able to come back and win their series.

Video: Mike Fisher ends Nashville’s nasty goal drought

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No, the Nashville Predators did not forget how to score goals … or at least they were lifted from that amnesia on Wednesday.

Mike Fisher lifted the curse 13:52 into the first period of tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. You can watch that rare beast in the video above.

They had been shut out for three straight games and pretty close to four in pure game time.

On this subject, PHT’s Jason Brough asked Predators GM David Poile if he was considering moving a defenseman to improve in another area earlier today.

Struggling Sabre Tyler Ennis out with upper-body injury

Tyler Ennis, James Wisniewski
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Tyler Ennis can probably relate with the Buffalo Sabres’ opponent on Wednesday, as he’s struggling almost as much as the Nashville Predators.

Perhaps some of that has to do with health?

Whether that’s the case or not, Ennis is out for the Sabres tonight, as the team announced that he’s dealing with an upper-body injury.

The Buffalo News discussed Ennis’ struggles in this article.

“I’d say he’s pressing too much. You can’t make those plays in every situation and in every point you touch the puck,” Dan Bylsma said to the Buffalo News. “ … He’s just got to simplify his game. He is a special player who can make those plays, but he can’t be trying to do it every time he touches the puck.”

He’ll need to wait a while to start getting things together, anyway.

WATCH LIVE: Wednesday Night Rivalry (Flyers-Islanders; Blackhawks-Sharks)

Ryan White, Matt Martin
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You can check out tonight’s Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader on NBCSN, and you can also stream them online.

Here are the handy links for the two contests.

First, the New York Islanders host the Philadelphia Flyers.


After that, the Chicago Blackhawks visit the San Jose Sharks.


Braun out with upper-body injury; Zubrus to make Sharks debut

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The San Jose Sharks will be missing a top-4 defenseman tonight when they host the defending champs from Chicago.

Justin Braun has an upper-body injury. His status is considered day-to-day.

“Brauny has been one of our unsung heroes here through the first quarter of the season,” coach Peter DeBoer told CSN Bay Area. “He’s played some outstanding hockey. So, we’re going to miss him, but it’s a great opportunity for Mueller and Tennyson and one of these guys to establish themselves. It’s a great opportunity for us to reward Dillon for how well he’s played.”

Against the Blackhawks, Brenden Dillon will take Braun’s spot on the top pairing alongside Marc-Edouard Vlasic; Paul Martin and Brent Burns will stay together on the second pairing; and 20-year-old Mirco Mueller will skate with Matt Tennyson.

Mueller has played just four games for the Sharks this season. In his last game, Thursday in Philadelphia, he received only 9:13 of ice time.

Also tonight, new Shark forward Dainius Zubrus is expected to debut on the fourth line.

Related: Sharks sign Zubrus, because DeBoer