LA Kings Hold First Practice Since NHL Lockout

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(credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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EL SEGUNDO (CBS/AP) — The NHL and its fans can finally shift their focus to the ice.

A four-month lockout ended last week. Signatures on Saturday salvaged a shortened season.

Like most teams in the league, defending champion Los Angeles Kings practiced Sunday at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo for the first time.

They’re all preparing for a 48-game sprint of a season that starts in less than a week.

Kings defenseman Drew Doughty it’s going to be a grind, adding that he’s happy to be back.

“It was good to get back out there and snap the puck around and get our mind back into hockey season,” Doughty told City News Service.

Los Angeles will unveil the franchise’s first championship banner Saturday before hosting the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Kings plan to practice at STAPLES Center at 7 p.m. Monday with doors opening to the public at 6 p.m. Admission is free.

Tickets for the Kings’ 24 games at STAPLES Center will go on sale at 6 p.m. Monday on Last season, they sold out 37 of 39 regular-season games at STAPLES Center.

They are hoping to finish the season as the NHL’s first repeat champions since the Detroit Red Wings hoisted Cups in 1997 and 1998.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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