Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 3/5/13
First, happy birthday to Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi, who turned 55 on Tuesday. Hes eligible for a pension, Coach Darryl Sutter said. No one is about to pension him off just yet. The Kings approached Tuesdays game against the St. Louis Blues at Staples Center the second of a rare back-to-back sequence at home having won six of their previous seven games and eight of their previous 10. That put them in a cluster of six Western Conference teams tied with 24 points and ranked them fifth because theyve played fewer games than most of their rivals and have more regulation and overtime wins (10). Goaltender Jonathan Bernier, who earned an 18-save victory over Nashville on Monday to run his personal winning streak to five, was scheduled to start his second straight game. He didnt have a lot of work Monday night and he was pretty sharp, Sutter said. It will be 24 hours, hes game-ready. Its really nothing other than that. And he played in St. Louis last time. We play every other day from here on. Jonathan Quick will be fresh and ready. The Kings also had built a five-game home winning streak, which might suggest theyre establishing a presence at Staples Center. That could be important, since theyre scheduled to play 10 home games this month, split into two five-game homestands. But Sutter downplayed that suggestion, saying theyre simply intent on winning no matter where theyre playing. We really havent talked about it at all. Weve just tried to do it more by the schedule, he said. Because it seems like when weve been at home were just playing games and we havent had a chance to do anything other than that. So you just try to stay in the moment and not look ahead. I was even asking Dean when we were driving in today if he could ever remember playing back-to-back nights at home. Thats a challenge for your team. And then next week you play at home and then you play the next night on the road, he added, referring to a March 11 home game against Calgary and then a March 12 game at Phoenix. One other seemingly interesting statistic didnt mean much to him: the Kings have given up only two third-period goals in their last eight games, the first an empty-netter at Vancouver last Saturday and the other to the Predators after they had built a 5-0 lead. That would seem to mean the Kings have clamped down defensively but not so, Sutter said. I dont think weve done that at all. Even Monday night we talked about trying to score the next goal. And play like we were down a goal, not up a goal, he said. Its just a way of perpetuating what youre doing system-wise. You have to reinforce it and the outcome will take care of itself. Just worried about wins and losses. Shift by shift and period by period, and that way you can sustain something and hope you have something that can carry over as good into the next game. -Helene Elliot
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