Cam Tucker


Report: Kings play-by-play broadcaster Bob Miller hospitalized


L.A. Kings broadcaster Bob Miller was hospitalized Saturday, per the L.A. Times.

According to the report, which cited team spokesperson Mike Altieri, Miller had been experiencing discomfort prior to a live broadcast before the NHL All-Star skills competition at Staples Center.

Last January, Miller, then 77 years old, took a medical leave of absence to undergo quadruple bypass heart surgery.

More from the L.A. Times:

His medical history factored into the decision to take him to the hospital, said Mike Altieri, the Kings’ senior vice president of communications and broadcasting.

Altieri said Miller hadn’t been feeling right and was examined on site by medical personnel. As a precaution, the decision was made to have Miller undergo additional tests.

Miller has been the play-by-play broadcaster for the Kings since 1973. In 2000, he received the Foster Hewitt Award, a distinction from the Hockey Hall of Fame that recognizes members of the broadcasting industry for outstanding contributions to the game during their careers.

The Bolts are an ‘extremely frustrated’ group after yet another loss


SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) Even with his mind on the baby due back home, James Reimer got the job done in an unexpected start.

Reimer stopped 31 shots, Jonathan Marchessault scored a power-play goal in overtime and the Florida Panthers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 on Thursday night to snap a four-game losing streak.

Reimer missed the previous two games on the road to be home with his wife, April, as they expect their first child any day.

“You never know when it’s going to come. You just want everyone, mom and baby, to be healthy. That’s the main things you worry about,” Reimer said. “I figured that things are pretty safe at home . although maybe I should go check my cellphone.”

Reimer got the start after Roberto Luongo sustained a minor injury in warmups.

“It was probably good. He didn’t have to think too much about the start until maybe a few hours before the game. He played outstanding,” Panthers interim coach Tom Rowe said. “(Luongo) got hurt this morning in warmup, preskate. Nothing major. It’s all minor stuff. He’ll be fine by the end of the All-Star break.”

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Marchessault took a pass from Keith Yandle along the goal line to the left of the net and fired the puck past Andrei Vasilevskiy at 1:49 of overtime.

The Panthers went on the power play after Tyler Johnson was called for interference against Jason Demers.

“I made a bad play there. He tried to jump behind me and kind of just grabbed me,” Johnson said.

Jussi Jokinen scored short-handed for the Panthers, who won for the first time in six games that went past regulation.

“It was huge. We didn’t have the success we wanted in OT and in the shootout this year, but we came out strong,” Marchessault said. “It was a good overall game for us.”

Nikita Kucherov scored for Tampa Bay, and Vasilevskiy made 35 saves. The Lightning have lost four of five and went 2-2-2 on a road trip that began Jan. 16 in Los Angeles.

“We’re extremely frustrated right now,” coach Jon Cooper said. “Let’s be honest, that was a long road trip. It was so long we sat through two presidents.”

Jokinen gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead. Vincent Trocheck passed from the right circle across to Jokinen, who shot from below the left circle and into the net at 9:55 of the first. It was the fourth short-handed goal of the season for the Panthers.

The Lightning tied it less than two minutes later on a power-play goal by Kucherov, who one-timed a pass from Jonathan Drouin past Reimer at 11:33. Kucherov leads the Lightning with 19 goals.

So, how about those Edmonton Oilers?


Here come the Edmonton Oilers.

After years of toiling at or near the bottom of the Western Conference standings, the Oilers go into the All-Star break — are you ready for this? — in a tie with the Sharks with 64 points atop the Pacific Division standings. Edmonton’s 4-1 win over San Jose on Thursday pushed Connor McDavid and Co. only five points back of the conference-leading Minnesota Wild.

They go into the break having won seven of their last eight games.

Andrej Sekera scored twice, including the winning goal. Cam Talbot made 32 saves on a night the Oilers surrendered 81 shot attempts and spent large portions of the third period trying to protect the lead. But those are two points the Oilers will gladly take on the road.

Having McDavid as the centerpiece of your franchise — winning the draft lottery — certainly helps facilitate a quicker turnaround. He leads the league in points as a 20-year-old sophomore player, but others have either emerged or taken the next step in their development, which has contributed to this team’s run of success to this point.

Patrick Maroon has already scored a single-season career-high 18 goals. He’s on pace to shatter his previous single-season best of 34 points (2014-15 with Anaheim). Leon Draisaitl is up to 46 points in 51 games this season, his third in the league after a very promising sophomore campaign.

And Edmonton has received some pretty good goaltending, with the ninth best save percentage in the league at five-on-five. Again, Talbot was almost unbeatable Thursday, coming up with 16 saves in the third period.

Given their sad history over the past decade, this is unfamiliar territory for the Oilers and their fans. Buyers at the trade deadline? Certainly seems like a possibility.

Things can change, but the Pacific Division is right now a three-team race. It may still surprise people that the Oilers are neck-and-neck for the lead at this juncture of the season.

“It’s something we should be proud of (and) confident with, but it’s also only the all-star break,” said coach Todd McLellan. “There’s a lot of hockey left.”

‘That’s what we need,’ says Julien after Bruins comeback win over Penguins


Despite tumultuous times in Boston, the Bruins will go into the All-Star break on a winning note.

Not only did they beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, a tall order for any team in the league, but they didn’t let a 2-0 deficit after the first period determine their fate.

With all the talk about Claude Julien’s future in Boston and his subsequent comments about his team not being talented enough to get away with playing mediocre hockey, a 4-3 win over the Penguins is the best possible way this Bruins team could’ve gone into the break.

That, according to Julien, was a much better effort from his team, which came alive with three second period goals.

“We need emotional involvement,” said Julien, per the Boston Globe. “We need to be engaged. Tonight, we were engaged. Not so much in the first. It had nothing to do with the score. Because the goals they got, one went in off a stick, the other one was a breakdown on our penalty kill.

“We needed to be emotionally connected to this game. You saw Backes coming out and throwing some big hits. We started making plays. That’s what we need. You need to build around things like that. That’s what we’re trying to do.”

Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo left the game with a lower-body injury and didn’t return. There was no update on his status following the game.

Speaking of David Backes, he was involved in a scuffle with Penguins scorer Phil Kessel during this one as tempers flared.

Brad Marchand, who has avoided suspension for a “dangerous trip” on Niklas Kronwall, scored twice for Boston in the second period. He’s now up to 21 goals on the season. He also voiced strong support for Julien, who has, according to reports, been on the hot seat of late.

“The speculation is driven by the media,” Marchand said, per NESN. “They don’t have the sources that they may claim. That’s not going to happen if we do our jobs. Claude isn’t the issue — if you fire the coach, what do you do? It’s not going to change anything, Claude’s one of the best coaches in the game.”

Blues enter All-Star break on a low note


It seems the All-Star break couldn’t get here quick enough for the St. Louis Blues.

But there will be plenty for players and coaches of that team to reflect upon in the next few days. To take from the myriad of hockey cliches: There will be soul-searching and looking in the mirror to be done during this time off, because the Blues have been struggling for quite some time now.

The Blues lost 5-1 to the Minnesota Wild on Thursday.

That is a disastrous way to enter the break. Two days removed from a shutout against the high-scoring Penguins, Carter Hutton was pulled in the third period after allowing five goals on 30 shots versus the Wild. Jake Allen entered in the game in relief.

What was a close game for a time dissolved into a blowout for the Wild, which scored four unanswered goals and maintained its lead atop the Central Division.

The Blues’ goaltending troubles continue, although the overall drop-off this season goes beyond their own crease. After a decent opening period, St. Louis just couldn’t maintain that same push. It’s already difficult enough to score goals on Devan Dubnyk, but that can be an especially arduous task when he’s only tested 25 times in a game.

St. Louis entered tonight’s busy slate of games with a wild card spot, despite five losses in their last six games and being outscored 25-12 combined in those losses. But the margin for error is slim. There are six teams — St. Louis, Vancouver, Calgary, L.A., Dallas and Winnipeg — separated by just five points in that Western Conference wild card race.

The Blues now have four days off. They resume their schedule against the Winnipeg Jets next Tuesday.