Kyle Clifford


WATCH LIVE: Red Wings at Kings

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Detroit Red Wings

Tyler BertuzziHenrik ZetterbergGustav Nyquist

Darren HelmDylan LarkinAnthony Mantha

Justin AbdelkaderFrans NielsenAndreas Athanasiou

Martin FrkLuke Glendening — Evgeny Svechnikov

Jonathan EricssonTrevor Daley

Dan DeKeyserNick Jensen

Niklas KronwallMike Green

Starting goalie: Jared Coreau

[Red Wings – Kings preview.]

Los Angeles Kings

Alex IafalloAnze KopitarDustin Brown

Tobias RiederJeff CarterTrevor Lewis

Tanner PearsonAdrian KempeTyler Toffoli

Kyle CliffordMichael AmadioNate Thompson

Derek ForbortDrew Doughty

Dion PhaneufAlec Martinez

Jake Muzzin — Paul LaDue

Starting goalie: Jonathan Quick

Kings beat Vegas two nights in a row


Physically and emotionally, things must have been exhausting for the Los Angeles Kings lately. They can take a breath and maybe let out a sigh of relief after Tuesday.

Just about any team will be trying to catch their breath after playing a home-and-home set with the hectic, shockingly effective Vegas Golden Knights. That’s especially true when you’re resting Jonathan Quick, thus throwing Jack Campbell into the fire because previous backup Darcy Kuemper is now in Arizona.

On Monday, they beat the Golden Knights in overtime in Los Angeles. On Tuesday, they warded off a torrent of activity to beat the Golden Knights 4-1.

Campbell and counter-punching

It wasn’t as easy as the 4-1 score would imply, even though there were no empty-netters.

The Golden Knights fired 42 shots on goal to 30 for the Kings, but Los Angeles was able to counter-punch, particularly on goals for Kyle Clifford and Tyler Toffoli.

Vegas’ hard-charging style might mean certain “live by the sword, die by the sword moments,” even if they’ve done a marvelous job of walking that razor’s edge. Jack Campbell simply outdueled them tonight.

Back during the 2010 NHL Draft, the Dallas Stars selected Campbell with the 11th overall pick. Campbell was selected shortly before Cam Fowler, Jaden Schwartz, and Vladimir Tarasenko. Being that Tuesday marked just the third NHL appearance of the 26-year-old’s career, it’s not outrageous to say that things haven’t exactly panned out as planned.

Campbell hasn’t given up on his hockey career, and Tuesday stands as a heartwarming reward. The Golden Knights fired a ton of shots on him, but only an early William Karlsson goal beat Campbell. That’s saying something, being that Vegas fired 30 SOG through the first two periods alone.

New faces

Tomas Tatar suited up wearing number 90 for Vegas. He fired plenty of shots, but it was Ryan Reaves who made more of an impression, heading to the penalty box on multiple occasions and drawing ire for hits on the likes of Anze Kopitar.

Jeff Carter isn’t technically a “new face,” but he probably almost feels that way considering how long he’s been out of commission for the Kings. After scoring his first goal of the season on the power play last night, he added another one on the man advantage to ice this win against the Golden Knights.

With Carter only at nine games played, he almost feels like a “trade deadline addition” for Los Angeles.

Promising road ahead?

There’s one other significant source of optimism for Los Angeles: the Kings’ early March schedule.

The Kings play their next five games at home, and beyond that, seven of eight contests take place at the Staples Center from March 1-17. This big win strengthens the Kings’ playoff positioning in the West’s playoff races. They moved to third in the Pacific Division with 75 points in 64 games, grabbing slim advantages over the Ducks (74 points) and Calgary Flames (73). They’re also not far behind second-ranked San Jose, who took care of business against Edmonton tonight.

While the Golden Knights face a harsh start to March, they remain in a strong position to win the Pacific, if not the West’s top seed.

Speaking of seeds … if Vegas faces Los Angeles in a first-round series, then games like Tuesday’s bout could already plant the seeds of disdain, even for a rivalry that’s just brimming.

And here we were thinking it would take a long time for this to be more fun than that weird Twitter tiff from September …

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

WATCH LIVE: Los Angeles Kings at Vegas Golden Knights




Los Angeles Kings

Alex IafalloAnze KopitarDustin Brown

Tanner PearsonJeff CarterTyler Toffoli

Tobias RiederAdrian KempeNate Thompson

Kyle CliffordMichael AmadioTorrey Mitchell

Derek ForbortDrew Doughty

Dion PhaneufAlec Martinez

Jake MuzzinChristian Folin

Starting goalie: Jack Campbell

[Kings – Golden Knights preview.]

Vegas Golden Knights

Jonathan MarchessaultWilliam KarlssonReilly Smith

David PerronErik HaulaJames Neal

Alex TuchCody EakinTomas Tatar

Ryan ReavesRyan CarpenterTomas Nosek

Luca SbisaNate Schmidt

Shea TheodoreDeryk Engelland

Colin MillerBrayden McNabb

Starting goalie: Maxime Lagace

PHT Morning Skate: Why Mike Green wasn’t traded; A deeper look at Triple Gold Club

Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at

• Check out the highlights from last night’s game between the Canadiens and Flyers. (Top)

Mike Green‘s injury is the reason he wasn’t traded on Monday. (

Ryan McDonagh wasn’t surprised about being traded to the Lightning. (Tampa Times)

• Even though there’s a lot going on in Ottawa right now, Matt Duchene insists he wants to be part of it. (Ottawa Citizen)

• Marc Bergervin made a couple of small deals at the deadline, but he didn’t make a splash to get fans excited about the team’s future. (Sportsnet)

• The Vancouver Canucks should have added some draft picks on deadline day, but they didn’t. (Vancourier)

• Did the Blues do the right thing by trading away Paul Stastny when they still have a chance to make the playoffs? (St. Louis Game Time)

• The San Jose Sharks stepped outside their comfort zone when they acquired Evander Kane. (NBC Sports Bay Area)

• Speaking of Kane, he’s pretty excited for this opportunity to play for the Sharks. (Buffalo News)

• There’s been a lot of mystery surrounding Corey Crawford‘s injury, but GM Stan Bowman says there’s no doubt he’ll play hockey again. (Chicago Tribune)

• Even if you don’t like the moves Vegas made, it’s hard not to give GM George McPhee the benefit of the doubt. (Sinbin.Vegas)

• Bruins general manager Don Sweeney was pretty active leading up the trade deadline. (Bruins Daily)

John Tavares admits he isn’t opposed to re-signing with the Islanders during the season. (Newsday)

• The Islanders didn’t really do much on deadline day. (The Sports Daily)

• It made plenty of sense for the Devils to extend head coach John Hynes. (Fan Rag Sports)

• The trade between Toronto and Montreal involving Tomas Plekanec benefits both teams. (

• After playing for Canada at the Olympics, Chris Kelly signed a one-year deal with Anaheim. (

• Puck Junk takes an in-depth look at the triple gold club. (Puck Junk)

• Did the Anaheim Ducks approach the trade deadline the right way? (Anaheim Calling)

Dion Phaneuf has adapted to his new surrounding in Los Angeles really quickly. (LA Kings Insider)

Kyle Clifford has been an underrated asset for the Kings throughout his career. (Mayor’s Manor)

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.

WATCH LIVE: Los Angeles Kings at Nashville Predators




Los Angeles Kings

Alex IafalloAnze KopitarTyler Toffoli

Tanner PearsonAdrian KempeDustin Brown

Kyle CliffordTorrey MitchellTrevor Lewis

Marian GaborikNick ShoreAndy Andreoff

Kevin GravelDrew Doughty

Jake MuzzinAlec Martinez

Derek ForbortChristian Folin

Starting, returning goalie: Jonathan Quick

[Preview for Kings – Predators]

Nashville Predators

Filip Forsberg (he’s back!) — Ryan JohansenViktor Arvidsson

Scott HartnellKyle TurrisCraig Smith

Kevin FialaNick BoninoCalle Jarnkrok

Miikka SalomakiColton SissonsAustin Watson

Roman JosiRyan Ellis

Alexei EmelinP.K. Subban

Mattias EkholmYannick Weber

Starting goalie: Pekka Rinne