February 14, 2011 12:20 pm

Getting started on the right foot (or hand)

The necessity of fighting in the NHL can be debated — and, in fact, is, endlessly — but it seemed pretty clear that the Kings got something of a boost less than three minutes into the game, when rookie Kyle Clifford dropped his gloves and did a pretty decisive job of battering Flyers tough guy Daniel Carcillo. The Kings were on their feet at the bench, banging their sticks on the boards in support of Clifford. Then, a couple minutes after the Kings’ goal, Kevin Westgarth held his own against noted Flyers heavyweight Jody Shelley, perhaps preventing the Flyers from getting momentum from the excitement of the fight. Here’s what Anze Kopitar and Terry Murray said of the Kings’ willingness and effectiveness, in terms of dropping the gloves…

KOPITAR: “The team definitely feeds off that, and I thought Cliffy and Westy did a great job in their fights. You know, everybody respects what they do and what they bring to the team, so after that, it was definitely a boost to the team.”

MURRAY: “Well, you have to respond. Whatever happens, happens. I don’t think anyone went out there to intentionally set it up or start one, but it happened. We have a kid who is 19 years old that has been doing this for us this year. He is a pretty tough young man, as is Carcillo. It does say that we are here to play a hockey game. We aren’t going to get pushed out. We are going to battle, compete and have some fun out there.”

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