(AP) – The future of the Los Angeles Kings is starting to look bright – even in one of their dreariest seasons.
Teddy Purcell scored his first NHL goal and Brian Boyle notched his fourth in seven games since his promotion from the Manchester Monarchs of the AHL, sparking the Kings to a 6-3 victory over the Calgary Flames on Friday night and improving Los Angeles’ record to 25-32-3.
"The play of some of our younger people, especially Boyle and Purcell, was pretty special. And maybe it’s pushing some other guys," coach Marc Crawford said.
Kevin Dallman, just back from an AHL conditioning assignment in Manchester, got his first goal of the season and 2006 AHL Rookie of the Year Patrick O’Sullivan added a shorthanded goal for the undermanned Kings, who snapped a six-game losing streak against Calgary and prevented the Flames from sweeping the four-game season series.
Former AHL regular-season and Calder Cup Playoffs MVP Derek Armstrong had a goal and two assists and two-time AHL Goaltender of the Year Jason LaBarbera made 39 saves for Los Angeles.
Boyle, a first-round draft pick by Los Angeles in 2003, is in his first professional season following four years at Boston College. On Feb. 2, he became the 17th player in Kings history to score a goal in his NHL debut.
"I think if that first one didn’t go in, maybe things would be a bit different," Boyle said. "When I get a chance to shoot, I usually feel pretty confident. Fortunate for me, guys have been finding me in pretty good areas."
Purcell, who spent last season with the University of Maine, signed with the Kings as an unrestricted free agent in April and recorded 16 goals and 42 assists with Manchester, leading all AHL rookies in scoring. He was named the MVP of the 2008 AHL All-Star Game last month.
"Most of us thought when we signed Teddy last year that he was a sure-fire NHL prospect," Crawford said. "He was a guy that just about every team in the league made an offer to, and our people did a great job of convincing Teddy to come here."