Kings’ third-period collapse against Stars ‘unacceptable’


The L.A. Kings looked like they were in good position Tuesday against the Dallas Stars.

A 1-1 tie after 40 minutes on the road – most teams wouldn’t mind that. But the Kings fell apart in the third period. The Stars scored four times on the defending Stanley Cup champions in the third period, and won 5-1.

Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown were each a minus-four in the loss. Yikes.

“The third was just a terrible period for us,” Kopitar said afterward. “Our line, we can’t get scored on four times in one period. It definitely wasn’t good.

“We can’t just forget about this period. We’ve got to address it. A period like this, it’s unacceptable.”

The Kings remain fourth in the Western Conference, with a 22-14-4 record and 48 points.

Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury and did not return. He will be reassessed tomorrow, according to what head coach Glen Gulutzan told the Dallas Morning News.

Stars to scratch Nichushkin after rough outing versus Avs?

Craig Anderson
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Looks as though slumping Dallas winger Valeri Nichushkin could be a healthy scratch tonight when the Stars host the Oilers at American Airlines.

Per the Morning-News, Nichushkin — who barely played in the second and third periods of Saturday’s 6-3 loss to Colorado — is likely to be replaced by Colton Sceviour in the lineup.

Stars head coach Lindy Ruff was fuming after the Avs defeat, calling it “embarrassing, worse than disappointing.” It didn’t take a genius to realize one of the players in his doghouse was Nichushkin, who had just 2:02 of ice time in the second period and 3:24 in the third.

Yesterday, Ruff dropped Nichushkin to the fourth line in practice.

“I’ve been trying to help him by shifting him around,” the head coach explained. “He had some struggles early in camp on right wing, so I put him on left, and he doesn’t seem real comfortable at left right now.

“His game, everything has got to get a little bit quicker.”

The 10th overall pick in 2013, Nichushkin has struggled to build on the form shown in his rookie campaign, when he scored 14 goals and 34 points in 79 contests.

He missed nearly all of last season with a linger hip ailment and has been a virtual non-factor through the first two games this year.

Report: Teams ‘screaming bloody murder’ about Richards settlement

Mike Richards

When the Los Angeles Kings announced they’d settled with Mike Richards, it didn’t take long for the accusations of salary-cap circumvention to materialize.

And though NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly was adamant that the settlement was “far from” circumvention, apparently not everyone agrees with the league in that regard.

“Privately, other teams are screaming bloody murder and are threatening to make an issue about it at December’s Board of Governors’ meeting,” Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports.

Friedman goes into more detail in his story, so click the link to read more.

But remember how we wrote that the issue in this case was precedent, and that the “NHL and NHLPA can’t allow teams to escape onerous contracts through a back door”?

Well, one agent posed a good question to Friedman: “What’s to stop other teams from trying this?”