Found December 03, 2011 on Fox Sports West:
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It's not quite as prominent of a story as the standout play of Jonathan Quick or the team's unproductive offense early in the season, but Jonathan Bernier has found good consistency despite an erratic work schedule that often hinders a young goaltender's ability to get into a rhythm. "You have to kind of block the pressure side of not playing a lot," Bernier said. With a strong 25-save outing in a 2-1 loss to Montreal Saturday afternoon, Bernier has posted a .915 save percentage over his last three outings and continues to instill confidence in himself and his teammates despite just three starts in four weeks. "It's just the way it is with Quick playing as well as he has," Terry Murray said. "When Bernier gets his opportunity, he's got to bring the effort that he did today." The relationship between Quick and Bernier is a healthy by their teammates' and coaches' accounts, and their competitiveness on the ice can be sensed at practice. "We still have that competitive side that we both want to do well, but at the same time we're good friends off the ice, so it's a really good relationship," Bernier said. "We try to push each other, but off the ice, we'll hang out and stuff like that, so it's great. Hopefully it makes everyone better." Murray referenced that because of Bernier's play, he's given a firmer option to potentially play both and rotate them through as the schedule continues. Having played 72 of 82 regular season games in 2009-10, Quick's postseason numbers weren't as good as last year's, when he appeared in 11 fewer regular season games numbers that reflect both a younger goaltender's development and Bernier's ability to step in and provide quality minutes later in the season. He also commended their on and off-ice demeanor. "I think they have a great relationship going back through their days in the minors. Both in the NHL at a very young age, they're going to support each other. They work hard for the team, that's most important of all. I see that on a daily basis. There's a healthy competition, there's a tremendous work ethic in both those young guys, and that is probably the one quality that I love about them. They come to work. They come to bring their skill out through hard work and try to get better every day." Prior to sustaining a lower-body injury that kept him out of the lineup Saturday, Willie Mitchell, known for being a good character figure for younger players (http:www.foxsportswest.com092511Veteran-Mitchell-helps-Kings-youngsterslanding_kings.html?blockID=568538) and someone who's blocked more than a few shots in front of both goaltenders, commended Bernier for approaching a what is in essence a backup situation for someone selected 11th overall in 2006. "It's only natural as human nature when you're not getting a regular turn, and when you get your turn, you want to succeed, you want to do well, especially when you're a great goaltender like he is." "I think now he's starting to get a few more cracks at it, he's starting to find a little bit more rhythm, a little more comfort in his game knowing that he's going to get some turns in the rotation here, and once you get that, you start to settle in and find your game. He's a great goalie." NOTES: The Kings fell to 27-88-20 all-time against the Canadiens with Saturday's loss. "It's a disappointing loss," Jarret Stoll said. "We feel we had a better game to put out there today than what we had and what we brought. It just wasn't enough; we have to give more, and push more, and be a lot harder. Our scoring chances are few and far between so when you get them you have to get it to the back of the net and we just didn't do that." Los Angeles has lost seven straight to Montreal since Eric Belanger and Ryan Flinn scored in a 2-1 win on March 8, 2003. Tomas Plekanec's goal to open the scoring late in the first period both ended the Kings' 24 consecutive penalty kills and the Canadiens' 24 consecutive unsuccessful power play attempts. Los Angeles plays next at Honda Center in Anaheim on Tuesday (7:00 p.m. FOX Sports West Prime Ticket) in the third installment of this year's Freeway Faceoff.
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