Los Angeles Hockey: Brett Sterling

Kings: Johnson's late turnover leads to Staal's winner in OT

February, 10, 2011
Pittsburgh Penguins 2, Kings 1 (OT)

Eight keys to the game:

THE FACTS: The Kings dominated the overtime period against the Penguins but Pittsburgh center Jordan Staal, who has replaced the injured Evgeni Malkin on the top line, stole the puck from defenseman Jack Johnson and beat goalkeeper Jonathan Quick with 19 seconds left to earn the victory at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh.

THE STAT: The Kings took a season-low two shots in the momentum-changing second period after producing 13 in the first. The Penguins came into the game with the second-best defensive unit in the league but two shots on goal in a period is just plain poor.

TURNING POINT: The Penguins took a 1-0 lead just 28 seconds after Pittsburgh defenseman Zbynek Michalek saved a goal on the other end of the ice. Justin Williams made a nice move around Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and slid the puck toward the goal just before Michalek swiped it away. The Penguins then started a 2-on-1 going the other way and Quick stopped an initial wrist shot from Dustin Jeffrey but couldn’t control the rebound and Pittsburgh regained possession. The puck eventually made its way to Pasadena native Brett Sterling,who beat Quick from between the hash marks. Sterling was one of four Pittsburgh forwards called up from the AHL on Thursday to fill in for injured Penguins.

HOT: Jarret Stoll scored his 15thgoal of the season later in the opening period to tie the score, 1-1. Stoll remains on pace to have his best season in a Kings’ uniform. He scored 18 goals for Los Angeles in 2008-09. His best season in the NHL was with Edmonton in 2005-06, when he scored 22. The Kings’ penalty-kill unit has also been strong, killing both against the Penguins and 18 of the last 19 overall.

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Kings: Crosby is not the Penguins only concern

February, 10, 2011
What the locals are saying ...

Pittsburgh continues to wait anxiously for super Penguin Sidney Crosby to return from post-concussion symptoms. Crosby has been out since Jan. 5 but is still second in the league with 32 goals.

The Penguins are even thinner up front after the season-ending knee injury last week to Evgeni Malkin, an undisclosed injury to Chris Kunitz and a four-game suspension to Matt Cooke. Out of desperation, Pittsburgh recalled four players from the AHL and they're scheduled to be in the lineup against the Kings.

One of the recalls, Brett Sterling, 26, grew up in Pasadena and played competitive hockey in Southern California until moving to Ann Arbor, Mich., when he was 16 to train with the U.S. National Team Development Program.