Los Angeles Kings

Video: Clifford opens the scoring for Kings at Levi’s Stadium

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Kyle Clifford showed off his hand-eye coordination to open the scoring for the L.A. Kings at Levi’s Stadium on Saturday.

Less than three minutes into the opening period against the San Jose Sharks, Clifford deflected Jake Muzzin’s wrist shot from the point, giving L.A. the early lead. Muzzin waited just long enough for Clifford to go to the net, and the big forward made a perfect tip on the shot from right in front of Antti Niemi.

Goalie Nods: Hammond gets second straight start for Sens

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Hammond looks for a second straight win

Andrew Hammond will make his second career start tonight when the Ottawa Senators play host to the Florida Panthers. Hammond made 42 saves in a win over the Montreal Canadiens Wednesday night in his first career start. It was the 27-year-old’s second NHL appearance. He carries a 2.96 G.A.A. and a .916 save percentage into tonight’s action.

Roberto Luongo gets the nod for the Panthers.

Elsewhere…

Ducks at Oilers: John Gibson vs. Ben Scrivens

Hurricanes at Devils: Anton Khudobin vs. Keith Kinkaid

Blue Jackets at Canadiens: Curtis McElhinney vs. Carey Price

Jets at Maple Leafs: Michael Hutchinson vs. Jonathan Bernier

Penguins at Blues: Thomas Greiss vs. Brian Elliott

Red Wings at Stars: Jimmy Howard vs. Kari Lehtonen

Lightning at Coyotes: Ben Bishop vs. Mike Smith

Kings at Sharks: Jonathan Quick vs. Antti Niemi

NHL on NBCSN: Kings and Sharks battle at Levi’s Stadium

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NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign as the San Jose Sharks host the L.A. Kings at Levi’s Stadium at 10:00 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game and pre-show online.

The lone Stadium Series game this season sees the L.A. Kings battle the San Jose Sharks tonight at Levi’s Stadium.

It’s the fourth of five meetings between the two clubs.

The Kings will look to stretch their win streak to a season-best seven games while the Sharks try to avoid a third loss in four outings.

The Sharks currently own the second wild card position in the Western Conference with 68 points, but the Kings are two points behind and have three games in hand.

San Jose has won two of the first three games.

Patrick Marleau has two goals and two assists during the season series while goaltender Antti Niemi is 2-1 with a .945 save percentage and 1.69 G.A.A. in three games against the Kings this season.

Anze Kopitar also has a goal and three assists in three games against the Sharks this season. Goaltender Jonathan Quick is 1-2 with a .890 save percentage and and 3.06 G.A.A. against San Jose this season.

L.A. has 16 players who have played in an outdoor game previously including 15 who were a part of last season’s Stadium Series game between the Kings and Anaheim Ducks at Dodger Stadium.

The fifth and final meeting between the two clubs goes April 11 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Oilers have had ‘constructive conversations’ with Petry’s agent, but no contract yet

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When Cody Franson was traded to Nashville, much of the focus leading up to the March 2 deadline turned to Edmonton’s Jeff Petry.

Like Franson, Petry is a right-shooting defenseman in the final year of his contract. Both players can become unrestricted free agents this summer. And unlike Mike Green in Washington — who also matches the preceding description — Petry plays for a team that’s well on its way to missing the playoffs.

Today, Oilers GM Craig MacTavish provided an update on Petry.

“I’ll just say this about Jeff — we really challenged him on a one-year contract and he’s clearly met that challenge. His game is at a level I think right now that it hasn’t been at before and I give Jeff a lot of credit for that,” MacTavish said, per the club’s website.

“As for a contract or what the course of action is going forward, I’ve had many conversations over the last four weeks with Wade Arnott, Jeff’s representative, as you might imagine and they’ve all been constructive conversations but I’m just going to leave it at that and we’ll see what happens going forward.”

The consensus is that Petry, 27, will be traded. Perhaps to Los Angeles, as a replacement for Slava Voynov. Or maybe to the Ducks, who were “pretty adamant about trying to add another d-man” even before Sami Vatanen was lost for 4-6 weeks. That’s just two potential destinations. There are others.

Here’s MacT:

Back from the brink, Kings still ‘have a lot of work left to do’

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Exactly two weeks ago, the Los Angeles Kings woke up in 12th place in the Western Conference. The defending Stanley Cup champions had won just four times since Christmas, were languishing five points back of a playoff spot, and even the most handsome of hockey bloggers had finally started to doubt them.

Yada, yada, yada, the Kings woke up this morning in a playoff spot. They’ve won six straight and, per Sports Club Stats, have seen their chances of qualifying for the postseason jump from 25.3 percent to 68.8 percent. As for those handsome hockey bloggers? They’re picking on the Ducks and Sharks now.

“We weren’t playing even close to our capability,” said defenseman Drew Doughty, per the Associated Press. “We’re seeing what we can do when everyone starts to perform. We’re happy with the way we’re playing now. But we can’t get ahead of ourselves. We need to keep winning. We have a lot of work left to do.”

Indeed they do, starting Saturday in Santa Clara, outdoors against their better-be-motivated rivals from San Jose.

What’s more, the Kings have played 31 homes games, compared to just 26 on the road, meaning their remaining schedule is heavy on away dates. And lest we forget, this is not a team that’s been good on the road this season (8-12-6).

The March 2 trade deadline also looms. Will GM Dean Lombardi add a defenseman? (Jeff Petry? Andrej Sekera? Roman Polak?) We only ask, because playing Doughty 30 minutes a night might not be the best way to get him fresh for the playoffs. With no Slava Voynov, he’s averaged almost four minutes more than he did last season.

The Kings know they aren’t out of the woods yet. When asked about the excitement of playing the Sharks in front of 70,000 fans Saturday at Levi’s Stadium, goalie Jonathan Quick made that point clear.

“You’re playing for two points,” he said, per L.A. Kings Insider. “I think we’re tied with them right now in the standings. That’s the only thing you’re excited about. It’s going to be a playoff-type game. We know we’re fighting for a spot.”