AHL Eastern Conference Final begins tonight - LA Kings Insider

urlAfter more than a week off between the second and third rounds, the Manchester Monarchs return to action tonight when they host the Hartford Wolfpack (New York Rangers) in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final. After facing a pair of teams whose parent clubs had either not qualified for the playoffs (Portland – Arizona) or had already been eliminated (Pittsburgh – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton), the Monarchs will face a team that hasn’t received any NHL players from the big club’s roster. Hartford, which defeated the Providence Bruins three games to two and the Hershey Bears four games to two, is led by 29-year-old Chris Bourque (4-10=14), Ray Bourque’s son, 23-year-old Oscar Lindberg (1-9=10) and former Colorado College standout Joey Crabb. Goalie Yann Danis, who attended training camp with Manchester in 2014, is 7-4 with a 1.97 goals-against average and .931 save percentage in the postseason.

The Monarchs were 3-0-0-1 against the Northeast Division champion Wolfpack during the regular season. The winner of this series will face the winner of the series between the Grand Rapids Griffins (Detroit) and Utica Comets (Vancouver) in the Calder Cup Final.

LA Kings Insider will provide game coverage via AHL Live tonight.

More coverage: LAKings.com | Union Leader story on Adrian Kempe | Union Leader story on David Van der Gulik | Conversation with Michael Futa

In the New Hampshire Union Leader story on Adrian Kempe, coach Mike Stothers referred to the 18-year-old Swede as “a real pleasant surprise.” From Alex Hall’s story:

Over the Monarchs’ playoff run, Kempe said he’s started to feel like he has adjusted to the differences and picked up a few things along the way.

“I’ve learned a lot of things with the puck in your own zone and to pick up my speed with the puck as fast as I can and just bring it to the offensive zone,” said Kempe. “I think that’s the biggest thing I’ve learned since I came here. It was pretty hard in the beginning in the couple of games before I got used to it. Now, in three or four of the last games I’ve played, I’ve felt pretty good.”

Monarchs conference final schedule:
1 Thursday, May 21 / 4:00 p.m. vs Hartford
2 Saturday, May 23 / 4:00 p.m. vs Hartford
3 Tuesday, May 26 / 4:00 p.m. at Hartford
4 Wednesday, May 27 / 4:00 p.m. at Hartford
5 Saturday, May 30 / 4:00 p.m. vs Hartford*
6 Sunday, May 31 / 4:05 p.m. at Hartford*
7 Tuesday, May 2 / 4:05 p.m. vs Hartford*
-*if necessary; all times PT


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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.