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Kings coach John Stevens liked what he saw Saturday

By in Press Enterprise on January 2, 2018

By Robert Morales

Kings coach John Stevens did not mince words following his team’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Vegas Golden Knights this past Thursday at Staples Center. He said it was his most disappointing game this season in terms of his players not sticking with a game plan, which led to puck mismanagement, after they looked good in taking a 1-0 lead at first intermission.

Stevens this week is speaking in more positive tones after his team came away with a 4-3 victory at Vancouver on Saturday on the first leg of a three-stop trip in Canada.

“It was way better (Saturday),” said Stevens, whose team will next play Tuesday night at 6:30 at Edmonton (on NBC Sports Network). “Our ability to move pucks to speed quickly, willingness to get pucks in behind, we were much more organized in our attack.

“Our forecheck was more aggressive, but smart aggressive. We had five guys forechecking and not two and three.”


The Kings (23-11-5, 51 points) scored a power-play goal Saturday. Marian Gaborik’s first-period goal for a 2-1 Kings lead gave them a power-play percentage of 15.9, up from 15.5 ahead of the Vegas game. The Kings are now 24th (tied with Ottawa) in the league, up from 28th.

“I thought that was a great execution of a rush play,” Stevens said of the goal off assists from Trevor Lewis and Tyler Toffoli.


Left wing Kyle Clifford played in just his eighth game of the season Saturday because of injury, and he scored his first goal.

“Yeah, it’s definitely good to get the first one of the year,” he said. “Lewie made a great play, so credit to him. He’s done a great job all year.”

The goal came in the third period and tied the score 3-3. Lewis and Kevin Gravel had the assists.


Defenseman Drew Doughty’s […]    

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