Goalie Nods: Ben Bishop expected to start for Kings against Canucks

When the Los Angeles Kings acquired Ben Bishop from the Tampa Bay Lightning they said they wanted a situation where they could have a No. 1 goaltender in their net every single night, whether it be him or Jonathan Quick. After Quick backstopped the Kings to a come-from-behind shootout win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday, thanks to a stunning behind-the-back save in the shootout, it will be Bishop’s turn to take his place in the crease on Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks.

Bishop stopped 28 out of 30 shots in his debut with the Kings this past week and has been on a bit of a roll in recent weeks after a tough start to the season.

Going back to his time with Tampa Bay just before the trade, Bishop has allowed just seven goals in his past six starts, and never more than two during that stretch. He has a .949 save percentage in those games.

The Kings enter the game with points in four consecutive games and own a one-point lead over the St. Louis Blues for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference.

The Canucks will go with Ryan Miller as he looks to snap a personal four-game losing streak.

Elsewhere on Saturday…

— The Colorado Avalanche and Winnipeg Jets did not announce their starters for Saturday’s game.

Craig Anderson is in net for the Ottawa Senators when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets. No word yet from the Blue Jackets for their starter but look for Sergei Bobrovsky.

— With Roberto Luongo sidelined James Reimer goes for the Florida Panthers when they host the Dallas Stars. Reimer has been playing great in recent weeks and looks to keep it going against Kari Lehtonen.

— The Lightning look to bounce back from a 5-2 loss in Pittsburgh on Friday and will be going with Andrei Vasilevskiy against the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres are starting Robin Lehner.

— No word from the Rangers and Canadiens but it would be a stunner if Carey Price and Henrik Lundqvist were not between the pipes for their respective teams.

Anton Khudobin goes for just his fourth win of the season when the Boston Bruins turn to him against Cory Schneider and the New Jersey Devils.

— After stopping 39 out of 40 shots on Thursday Steve Mason is back in net for the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday when they visit the Washington Capitals. It will of course be Braden Holtby in net for the NHL leading Capitals.

— Jusse Saros starts for the Nashville Predators when they host the Chicago Blackhawks. No word yet from the Blackhawks on who gets the call. Corey Crawford started on Friday and with Scott Darling sidelined he might get both ends of the back-to-back.

Petr Mrazek is in for the Detroit Red Wings when they visit the Edmonton Oilers, who will naturally be going back to Cam Talbot for his league-leading 58th start of the season. This is already a new career high for him in terms of appearances.

PHT Morning Skate: Zdeno Chara shot catches emergency goalie in a sensitive spot

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–Sean McIndoe looks at five players who became the unlikeliest first 50-goal scorers in their franchise’s history. McIndoe chose Rick MacLeish (Flyers), Rick Vaive (Maple Leafs), Vic Hadfield (Rangers), Guy Chouinard (Flames) and Mickey Redmond (Red Wings). (The Hockey News)

–A lot of people think hockey players are the toughest athletes, but Islanders forward Anders Lee is here to tell you that they aren’t tough at all. In his story for The Players’ Tribune, Lee writes about a tough, young friend, who is battling cancer. “In the seven years since he has been diagnosed, he has gone through multiple surgeries. He’s had countless radiation treatments. He’s gone through chemotherapy, immunotherapy and stem cell transplants. And he does it all with a smile on his face. So when I hear people refer to me as tough because I play hockey, I think of Fenov and kids like him.” (The Players’ Tribune)

–The Boston Bruins needed an emergency goalie for their practice yesterday, and they settled on Massachusetts state trooper Kevin Segee. Surely, it was the experience of a lifetime for him, but it didn’t come without pain. Segee was clearly shaken up after getting a Zdeno Chara in the…well, you know. (CSN New England)

–Blackhawks forwards Artemi Panarin, Patrick Kane and Tanner Kero each had multi-point games in Wednesday’s 5-1 thumping of the Pittsburgh Penguins. You can watch the highlights from the game by clicking the video at the top of the page.

–What was the world like the last time the Detroit Red Wings missed the playoffs? Thanks to Sports Illustrated, we don’t have to wonder. In 1990, J.K. Rowling had just started writing the Harry Potter series, Donald Trump walked out of an interview with CNN because they were asking tough questions about his casino, the first known webpage was written and much, much more. (Sports Illustrated)

–Edmonton Oilers players and their significant others came together to make 400-500 bowls of homemade soup for charity. It’s pretty cool to see most of the team be involved in such a nice event, even though the onion chopping station gave some of the guys a hard time. (Edmonton Oilers on Twitter)

–Sportsnet has assembled the top hits of the week for your viewing pleasure. Hits from that Toronto, Columbus game made the video a couple of times:

Milbury, Jones: Tkachuk walked the walk; Kings’ response was embarrassing


The Los Angeles Kings got revenge on Matthew Tkachuk and the Calgary Flames on the scoreboard on Wednesday. But was that 4-1 win enough?

Mike Milbury and Keith Jones provided a lengthy “overtime” segment on NBCSN that brought about some really fascinating takes on the situation between Tkachuk and the Flames versus Drew Doughty and the Los Angeles Kings.

Watch the full video above, as it’s worth your time.

A few interesting lines if you’re (tsk tsk) skipping it:

Milbury: Believes that Doughty didn’t “do enough,” noting that star players sometimes have to stick up for themselves. On the other hand, Tkachuk showed that he can “walk the walk.”

He also gave the Kings a “C-, D+ if not worse” for their overall response. “Fight your own battles,” Milbury said of Doughty.

Jones disagreed to some extent, believing that Kings teammates won’t look at Doughty differently. But Jake Muzzin? He believes that Muzzin’s frequent defensive partner (at least over the years, maybe not this season) backing down from a fight was an embarrassment.

Spicy stuff.

For what it’s worth, Drew Doughty has one career fight (against Joe Thornton [!] in 2011-2) while Jake Muzzin’s lone bout came against Andrew Desjardins in 2012-13, according to Hockey Fights. Does that mean they shouldn’t have dropped the gloves on Wednesday? Milbury and Jones seem to believe that they should have answered the bell.

For more, check out a collection of the early violent moments and Tkachuk’s attempted shot at Doughty. The Kings win is summarized in greater detail here.

Measure of revenge: Kings delay clinching efforts for Flames, Blues


Deep down, the Los Angeles Kings probably realize that their season will end on game 82. Still, they kept their slim playoff hopes alive on Wednesday night … and managed to spite a team they’re growing to hate.

OK, maybe the hate is almost totally focused upon Matthew Tkachuk, yet the disdain for that talented-but-tormenting rookie was palpable.

It didn’t feel like the Kings exacted physical revenge on Tkachuk, but beating his team 4-1 ranked as classic scoreboard vengeance. With that, the Calgary Flames (and by extension the St. Louis Blues) will need to wait to clinch a playoff berth.

Now, as much as tonight was about Tkachuk, the focus was also on a pugnacious player who once dazzled for the Flames: Jarome Iginla.

In what might be Iginla’s final visit to Calgary – at least as an active NHL player – he was one of the best players on the ice. His fitting curtain call included a “Gordie Howe hat trick” with a spirited fight, an assist and a goal.

Seriously, that fight with Deryk Engelland:

That goal included a bit of luck, but hey …

Iginla was named the first star of the contest, and cameras captured his big smile in enjoying a special night. For all the nastiness of that game, it was refreshing to see such a heartwarming moment.

For more on the violence, check out this post on the early stuff and this one on Tkachuk’s missed missile launch on Drew Doughty.

Kings and Canucks will square off in first NHL exhibition games in China

graphic via NHL

It’s official: the NHL will hold preseason games in China before next season.

The league made the announcement on Wednesday night: the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks will play two exhibitions: one on Sept. 21 (Shanghai) and Sept. 23 (Beijing). How cool is that?

“It is a privilege and an honor for the L.A. Kings to represent the National Hockey League in China as part of these two games against the Vancouver Canucks,” Kings president Luc Robitaille said. “Growing the game of hockey is something we take great pride in and it is a big priority for our hockey club and AEG as a whole. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our players and our staff, and we are looking forward to the games taking place in two tremendous facilities in two remarkable cities.”

The press conference inspired some jokes tonight.

Some of the best bits came in roping in … Kobe Bryant and David Beckham?

Alrighty then.

Click here for more details.