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Kings Get Another Look at Detroit

Wednesday, 03.09.2011 / 3:33 PM / Los Angeles Kings | News
By Rich Hammond
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Kings Get Another Look at Detroit
DETROIT -- Terry Murray chuckled before the question could even be finished. The question was about the Kings' previous game against the Detroit Red Wings and, to his credit, Murray was able to laugh rather than run out of the room screaming.

As much as possible, the Kings would like to forget their 7-4 loss to the Red Wings at STAPLES Center last week, a game in which the Kings trailed 7-1 at one point, but Murray said there were lessons to be learned from the blowout loss, lessons he hopes the Kings can apply tonight against the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena.

Sometimes after a blowout loss, a coach will figuratively ``burn the tape'' and pretend as though the awful game never existed. This time, though, Murray said he showed clips to the Kings the day after the game, figuring there were coachable moments.

``The biggest thing, against Detroit, is managing the the puck the right way,'' Murray said. ``As soon as you turn back into your own D-zone and get away from north attitude on your breakouts and your counters, you think you're going to bring it back and regroup and do something extra, they have a green light and they come very quickly.

``They're an experienced team that reads those situations. They forced us to make the wrong decisions on several of those goals the other night. When you go back through all their games, that's their attitude, is to stay over top, make teams come through them, and as soon as there is a bobbled puck, a bad pass, a decision that's not the right one, that's when we're coming.''

Even when the Kings have beaten the Red Wings this season, it hasn't been easy. The win at STAPLES Center came in overtime, and the win at Joe Louis Arena came in a game in which the Red Wings totaled 51 shots on goal but didn't score.

Goalie Jonathan Quick will get the start tonight in Detroit.  Last week he allowed a season-high six goals to the Red Wings, but earlier this season he earned a spectacular 51-save shutout.
Jonathan Quick will get the start in goal for the Kings, and he's been on both sides of fortune against the Red Wings this season. He was in goal for that 51-save shutout, and also for last week's game, when he was pulled after allowing six goals on 24 shots.

``That's a team that knows how to play with the right kind of attitude, a veteran team that has been through it many times,'' Murray said of the Red Wings.

ONE IN, ONE OUT
The Kings are expected to make one lineup change, with Brad Richardson re-entering the lineup as the fourth-line right winger in place of Kevin Westgarth.

Westgarth has been scratched from the three previous games this season against Detroit, as the Red Wings lack a traditional ``enforcer'' in their lineup.

POWER-PLAY JUMP START?
The Kings, 0-for-10 on the power play in their last two games, will go with a bit of a different power-play look tonight, Murray said.

``We are changing it up, the one group with (Anze) Kopitar and (Drew) Doughty and Jack (Johnson),'' Murray said. ``We're going to change the setup in the offensive zone. I think you get to a point, sometimes, where change is very important. You get stale. You're getting stationary, often, when you get so used to one setup.

The trio of Jack Johnson, Drew Doughty, and Anze Kopitar will be seen in a new power play look tonight.  Coach Terry Murray used the new set up when he coached in Florida from 1998-2000.
``It's a power-play look that I used years ago, when I was coaching in Florida. It's a change. It gets the puck in different people's hands. There's more movement in it, and it gets you thinking. To me, with where we are right now, we're a team that's looking to make the automatic play all the time. You've got to get some thought back into it.''

The Kings enter the game ranked 19th in the NHL in power-play efficiency, while Detroit ranks 16th in penalty-kill efficiency.

CLIFFORD MAKING AN IMPACT
Kings rookie winger Kyle Clifford will look to build on one of his highest-impact games of the season. Against Dallas on Monday, Clifford scored a goal and also drew a spearing penalty on the Stars' Steve Ott that led to a game-misconduct penalty.

``It was disappointing how it ended, losing the lead three times, but we've just got to put that in the past and move on,'' Clifford said. ``We've got a big, important stretch coming up to focus on.''

Clifford, who made the Kings' roster out of training camp, rather than being returned to his junior team, has been a lineup staple since late October. Of late, Clifford has been playing a fourth-line role, with Murray desiring to manage Clifford's minutes and situations a bit closer, but Clifford said he's enjoying late-season life in the NHL.

``I haven't played an entire season, but you can definitely feel the intensity,'' Clifford said. ``Teams don't take anything for granted, so everybody is kind of bearing down here.''