NHL

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Kings and Ducks step out of dugout and onto ice

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LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Kings stepped out of the home dugout and filed onto the fresh sheet of ice. Instead of a roof over their heads, helicopters hovered in the cloudy sky above Chavez Ravine.

Dodger Stadium isn't a field of dreams for many hockey players, but the Kings and the Anaheim Ducks are thrilled by the chance to play the NHL's most unlikely outdoor game today.

"We were trying to figure out how we could shoot a puck over the left field wall," Los Angeles defenceman Robyn Regehr said. "Too many people around, though."

Southern California's NHL teams came away from Friday's practices fairly impressed with the ice sheet in place for the league's first warm-weather stadium game. The temperature was high enough to cause some slush and steaminess on the ice, but it was nothing two Sun Belt teams haven't seen in actual NHL arenas before.

"It's a different feeling playing outdoors," Kings defenceman Drew Doughty said. "There are so many different aspects in the game that are going to make it more challenging for both teams -- getting your legs moving, getting used to the ice, getting used to the boards. So instead of a skilled, high-paced game, I think you're going to see a physical battle out there, and I think that's something a lot of real hockey fans will appreciate."

The teams skated with friends and family on the ice after practice while workers put the final touches on the unique facility.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 25, 2014 C4

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