Los Angeles Hockey: Alex Tanguay

Kings: Shootout win vs. Flames, Williams hurt

March, 21, 2011

LOS ANGELES—First, the bad news.

Justin Williams, the second-leading scorer for the Kings, left the game in obvious pain with about 9 minutes remaining in the third period Monday night against the Calgary Flames and the top-line right wing wasn’t around to see his teammates rally for a 2-1 shootout victory at Staples Center.

Williams was checked into the left-wing boards by Calgary defenseman Robyn Regehr and skated slowly to the bench favoring his right arm or shoulder. He sat hunched over on the bench for about 60 seconds before heading to the locker room.

Afterward, coach Terry Murray said Williams suffered an upper-body injury and was “not OK.”

“All I heard is he’ll get to see a doctor tomorrow and have an evaluation and see where he’s at,” Murray.

The Kings, who moved up one spot to fifth in the Western Conference standings, can ill afford to lose Williams for any stretch of time. They’re already struggling to produce offensively, owning just two goals in regulation in their last three games.

After suffering through three consecutive injury-plagued years, Williams was one of eight Kings who had appeared in every game this season, producing 22 goals and 35 assists. He was having his most productive season since 2006-07 with the Hurricanes.

As for the good news, Jonathan Quick improved to 8-0 in shootouts this season, giving up a first-round goal to Alex Tanguay before Rene Bourque hit the post and Curtis Glencross shot wide. In between, Jarret Stoll scored to improve to 7-of-8 on shootouts this season, and Anze Kopitar slipped one through the pads of goalie Mikka Kiprusoff.

“It’s pretty easy when the team scores two out of three,” Quick said. “They’ve been scoring goals all year in the shootout like that and it makes it a lot easier on my part.”

It won't get any easier if the Kings have to continue very long without Williams, one of the few dynamic offensive players on the team. They'll have a couple days to adjust, as they don't play again until Thursday against San Jose at Staples Center.

Kings: Hoping to cool off the Flames

February, 5, 2011
Kings (28-22-2, 58 points) vs. Calgary Flames (26-21-6, 58) at Scotiabank Saddledome, 7 p.m. PT

Five storylines to track:

1. The Flames are blazin’ – The Calgary Flames are the hottest team in the NHL, owning a record of 8-1-1 in their last 10 games. They’ve won six straight for the first time since 2008, scoring 23 goals in that span. This is one of those four-point games you hear a lot about this time of year, as the winner will take the lead over the loser in the Western Conference playoff race. Both teams enter Saturday one point out of eighth place.

2. House of horrors – If it’s not enough of a challenge playing the hottest team in the league, the Kings will play in an arena where they haven’t won in more than five years, a span of 10 games. That’s right, 0-10. Not even a point. The Kings have been sitting in Calgary since Thursday, even while the Flames finished a two-game road trip Thursday night in Atlanta. Hopefully, they had a chance to see a witch doctor and do something about breaking this spell.

3. Dynamic duo – Kings fans have been crying for Jack Johnson to team up with Drew Doughty on the first power–play unit and they finally got their wish Tuesday in Minnesota and again Wednesday in Edmonton. Johnson and Doughty teamed up on a pair of power-play goals in the 3-1 victory against the Oilers. The goals were originally credited to Ryan Smyth on deflections off slap shots from Doughty, but the NHL awarded the goals to Doughty the next day because Smyth never touched the pucks.

4. Paying hit man – Dustin Brown announced Friday that for every hit this season he’ll donate $50 to the Newborn and Infant Critical Care Unit at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Brown has 194 hits this season so that’s $9,700 in the piggy bank. Good thing Brown isn’t donating money for goals. He hasn’t scored in the last 11 games and has one goal in the last 17. Fellow first-liner Anze Kopitar has been equally snake bit, scoring one goal in the last 18 games.

5. Red-hot Flame – The hottest player for Calgary isn’t Jarome Iginla, Rene Bourque or Alex Tanguay, but rather Brendan Morrison, who has four goals and three assists during the six-game winning streak. Morrison, who played part of the 2008-09 season with the Ducks, hasn’t had this long of a point streak since scoring in nine straight in late 2003 while playing for Vancouver.