KINGS NOTEBOOK: BEST PLAYERS NEED TO TAKE A STEP UP.Byline: Matt McHale Staff Writer
PITTSBURGH - The rest of his teammates were long gone Thursday night, but Mattias Norstrom remained in the Kings' dressing room, trying to figure what had just happened.
Norstrom knew the Kings' eight-game unbeaten streak was bound to end, but he never expected the thud of a 6-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils The New Jersey Devils are a professional ice hockey team based in Newark, New Jersey. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Devils have won the Stanley Cup three times, in 1995, 2000, and 2003. . While others had been quick to point out New Jersey was indeed reigning Stanley Cup champions This is a list of Stanley Cup champions, including the finalists/challengers. Originally, it was referred to as the "Challenge Cup"; the champions held onto the Cup until they either lost their league title to another club, or a champion from another league issued a formal , Norstrom wasn't buying the excuse.
``We just did too many things wrong to give them much of the credit,'' Norstrom said. ``Now we have to go out on the road to prove that it was just one bad game. We've been playing well, but that is never easy.''
The Kings open a three-game trip tonight in Pittsburgh, their third visit to Eastern cities in less than two months. Even though they made the four-hour flight here Friday morning, coach Andy Murray put the players through a conditioning workout when they arrived.
The problem areas were obvious against the Devils. The Kings were awful in front of their own net, a strong point during their 6-0-2 run. New Jersey scored most of its goals on rebounds or redirected shots.
When the Kings allowed 47 shots to Colorado last Saturday, the 6-4 victory cushioned the concern. But the Devils had 35.
Captain Rob Blake For other persons of the same name, see Robert Blake.
Robert Bowlby "Rob" Blake (born December 10 1969, in Simcoe, Ontario) is a professional ice hockey defenceman in the NHL, playing for the Los Angeles Kings where he is the captain. , who has been the club's most valuable player in the season's first quarter, was on the ice for five of New Jersey goals. Ziggy Palffy, who entered Friday's action with the league lead in scoring, took just one shot.
Palffy has 29 points, the best start of his career, but seven of his 11 goals have come on the power play. Murray said he wants to see Palffy dominate in five-on-five situations as well.
``We need our best players to be our best players,'' Murray said. ``That didn't happen against the Devils.''
And there is more pressure on Palffy's first unit now that second-line winger Glen Murray Glen Murray may refer to:
The Kings have been tinkering with their lines all season and thought they struck a good balance playing veterans Murray and Luc Robitaille This article
* Its neutrality is disputed.
* It needs to be expanded.
* It may need copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone and/or spelling. with rookie center has multiple issues:Steven Reinprecht Steven Edward Reinprecht (born May 7, 1976 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) is a professional ice hockey player. Reinprecht is of German decent. Playing career
Undrafted, Steven Reinprecht typically plays as centre and is known as a power play specialist. . With Murray out, the Kings have turned to Jason Blake Jason Blake may refer to:
Add it up and the Kings went 1 for 5 against the league's worst penalty-killing unit.
KINGS vs. PITTSBURGH
Time: 4:30 p.m., at Mellon Arena
TV/Radio: ESPN ESPN Entertainment and Sports Programming Network 2, Fox Sports Net; KRLA-AM (1110)
Matchup: The Penguins, who played Friday in Philadelphia, had the best record in the Eastern Conference last week but now are trying to hold off the surging New Jersey Devils in the Atlantic Division. As always, Jaromir Jagr is among the league leaders in scoring, but he has had difference with new coach Ivan Hlinka about his role on the power play. Hlinka is the first European-born coach in the NHL NHL Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, see there and like Jagr is from the Czech Republic. One reason Hlinka is spreading the scoring around is the long-overdue emergence of Alexei Kovalev. Long touted as the next great scorer, Kovalev recently was NHL player of the week and had a stretch of 15 points in six games.
- Matt McHale