Ducks work overtime, earn a point, but fall to Avalanche

  • Colorado Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog (92) celebrates after scoring against the Anaheim Ducks in overtime of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

  • Anaheim Ducks defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) vies for the puck against Colorado Avalanche forwards Mikko Rantanen (96) and Nathan MacKinnon (29) during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

  • Colorado Avalanche players, including Samuel Girard (49) and J.T. Compher, celebrate a goal against Anaheim Ducks during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

  • Anaheim Ducks defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) and Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon (29) vie for the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

  • Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson (36) stops a shot in front of Colorado Avalanche forwards Nazem Kadri (91) and Valeri Nichushkin (13) during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

  • Colorado Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen, left, and Ducks forward Carter Rowney chase the puck during the first period of Friday’s game at Honda Center. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

  • Colorado Avalanche forwards Tyson Jost (17) controls the puck as Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (41) defends against Anaheim Ducks defenseman Jacob Larsson (32) during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

  • Anaheim Ducks forward Carter Rowney (24) falls over Colorado Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen (96) during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

  • Colorado Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen (96) controls the puck while defended by Anaheim Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm (47) during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

  • Anaheim Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf (15) works between Colorado Avalanche forwards Valeri Nichushkin (13) and Gabriel Landeskog (92) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

  • Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Calvert (11) gets caught between an official and Anaheim Ducks defenseman Jacob Larsson (32) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

  • Colorado Avalanche goalie Philipp Grubauer (31) blocks a shot as Devon Toews (7) defends against Anaheim Ducks forward Max Jones (49) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

  • Anaheim Ducks forward Max Jones (49) works against Colorado Avalanche defenseman Devon Toews (7) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

  • Colorado Avalanche goalie Philipp Grubauer (31) stops a shot by Anaheim Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf (15) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

  • Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Calvert (11) controls the puck next to Anaheim Ducks forward Max Jones (49) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

  • Colorado Avalanche goalie Philipp Grubauer (31) and forward Nathan MacKinnon (29) defend as Anaheim Ducks forward Derek Grant (38) shoots during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

  • Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri (91) falls as he chases the puck in front of Anaheim Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf (15) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

  • Colorado Avalanche defenseman Samuel Girard (49) works with the puck next to Anaheim Ducks forward Maxime Comtois (53) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

  • Anaheim Ducks’ Adam Henrique (14) celebrates Jakob Silfverberg (33) after scoring against the Colorado Avalanche during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

  • Colorado Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog celebrates after scoring against Anaheim Ducks in overtime of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

  • Colorado Avalanche players celebrate after an overtime win over the Anaheim Ducks in an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

of

Expand

ANAHEIM — The man atop the Ducks’ most-wanted list remained in trade limbo on Friday.

No, not top prospect Trevor Zegras. He continued to hone his craft with the AHL’s San Diego Gulls.

The Ducks were said to be among the most aggressive teams pursuing a deal for Pierre-Luc Dubois of the Columbus Blue Jackets, increasing their offer for the 22-year-old center. The Montreal Canadiens and Winnipeg Jets reportedly were the other teams in the mix.

A deal was expected to be completed by the end of the weekend.

No question, the Ducks could have used all of Dubois’ many skills with the puck as they struggled to score again during a 3-2 overtime loss to the Colorado Avalanche at Honda Center. The goal-starved Ducks’ overall play was vastly improved over their first four games of the season.

But they didn’t exactly light up the scoreboard and they fell to 1-2-2.

The Ducks have only eight goals in five games.

Gabriel Landeskog scored 1:38 into OT to lift the Avalanche (3-2-0), chasing down his own rebound and slipping the puck into the net from near the right goal post. Ducks goalie John Gibson made a spectacular initial save, but couldn’t reset himself in time to stop the second bid.

“That’s the best game we’ve played,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. “I thought our guys played hard. We had lots of chances to score. We had lots of looks at their net. Some guys who maybe hadn’t had a lot of attempts on net, a lot of shots, woke up.”

The Ducks rallied from deficits of 1-0 and 2-1 to force the game to OT and earn a point.

They wanted the second one, too.

“It’s so disappointing not to get the points when you play well like that,” said Eakins, who was every bit as encouraged by his team’s play Friday as he was upset about it after Wednesday’s loss to the Minnesota Wild. “We’ll let it hurt for a little bit, but we are going to take some good out of this game.”

Mikko Rantanen gave the Avalanche a 2-1 lead at 6:20 of the third period, chipping home a centering pass from rookie defenseman Bowen Byram. Adam Henrique then answered for the Ducks 1:22 later, set up by Danton Heinen for his first goal of the season.

Gibson then saved Nathan MacKinnon’s penalty shot 47 seconds later to preserve the 2-2 tie at 8:31 of the third. Defenseman Hampus Lindholm was whistled for covering the puck with his hand while it was in the crease during a goalmouth scramble.

“That’s a dangerous player (MacKinnon) and ‘Gibby’ handled it like it was nothing,” Eakins said of Gibson, who made 29 saves in his return to the net after sitting out Wednesday. “That’s a massive save at an absolutely critical part of the game. But that’s what ‘Gibby’ brings.”

Jakob Silfverberg nearly produced the tying goal, after Joonas Donskoi scored a power-play goal to put Colorado ahead 1-0 only 2:56 into the game. Philipp Grubauer denied Silfverberg’s initial try with a toe save and then sprawled to deflect the rebound attempt and keep it out of the net.

Silfverberg was one of the names Eakins named after the Ducks’ listless 3-2 loss to the Wild on Wednesday. In fact, Silfverberg was benched for several shifts in the second period, along with linemates Henrique and Heinen as Eakins tried to jump-start his team.

On

Friday, Eakins started fourth-line grinders Nicolas Deslauriers, Derek Grant and Carter Rowney, not to send a message to his more gifted skaters and playmakers but simply to get the Ducks off to a better start than in their first four games of the season.

It didn’t work.

Lindholm was penalized for holding 59 seconds into the opening period, and Donskoi made the Ducks pay with a shot from the lower portion of the right faceoff circle that ricocheted off the right goal post and past Gibson for Colorado’s 10th power-play goal in 22 chances this season.

Lindholm redeemed himself with a wicked shot off Grubauer’s outstretched glove 47 seconds into the second period, tying the score 1-1 by converting from the left wing after a clever pass from Rickard Rakell. Ryan Getzlaf also assisted, moving him within seven of 700 for his career.

“We definitely had some steps moving in the right direction, I think, but if you want to be a winning team you have to win these types of games, too,” Lindholm said. “It’s a long season and we’ve only played five games. If we can keep taking strides like we’ve been doing, it’s going to be a fun year.”

Read more about Ducks work overtime, earn a point, but fall to Avalanche This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

California sees suspicious surge in coronavirus unemployment claims for gig workers

By ADAM BEAM | The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO  — California is reporting a surge in coronavirus unemployment claims last week for independent contractors, gig workers and the self-employed — the category of benefits blamed for much of the state’s fraudulent payments.

The state last week received more than 110,800 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims, an increase of more than 77,00 from the week before. It was so large it accounted for more than a quarter of all such claims nationally, according to numbers released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The claims fall under a program Congress approved last year to give unemployment benefits to people during the pandemic who are usually ineligible to receive them. The program has helped a lot of people who are self-employed weather economic shutdowns from the virus. But its broad eligibility requirements have made it a target of criminals seeking easy paydays.

State officials, including Gov. Gavin Newsom, have repeatedly blamed the unemployment benefits program for the self employed as the source of much of the state’s fraud. Last year, the state acknowledged it paid $400 million in fraudulent benefits in the names of 20,000 prison inmates. An analysis of 345,000 frozen accounts last year by Bank of America estimated the state paid at least $2 billion in fraudulent claims.

And Blake Hall, founder and CEO of ID.me, told the Los Angeles Times last week that at least 10% of all claims submitted before the state put in new safeguards in October may have been fraudulent — which could result in nearly $10 billion in fraudulent payments.

The number of unemployment claims for contractors and gig workers fell significantly after the state imposed new safeguards, until Thursday when a massive increase was reported.

Loree Levy, deputy director of public affairs for the Employment Development Department, said state officials expected that increase after Congress approved an extension of benefits as part of a coronavirus relief package in December.

Levy said it took a few weeks for the state to implement the additional 11 weeks of benefits that Congress approved, causing a delay for some new claims during that period. Plus, she said another round of business restrictions in December because of a surge of coronavirus hospitalizations likely increased the number of people filing for new claims.

But Michael Bernick, a former EDD director who is now an attorney with the Duane Morris law firm, said the numbers “make no sense” because the increase the state reported was all for new claims, not existing claims.

Most independent contractors in California that have been impacted by the pandemic should already have filed their claims in the previous nine months, he said. Their benefits would be extended under the new congressional aid package, but those benefits should not have shown up as new claims.

“These numbers suggest that the identify-theft rings from throughout the world have not halted efforts, and fraud remains a main issue,” Bernick said.

The state has been overwhelmed with unemployment claims since March, when Gov. Gavin Newsom imposed the nation’s first statewide stay-at-home order that shuttered many businesses. The state has processed more than 19 million claims and paid out more than $113 billion in benefits.

About 4 million of those claims claims and $43 billion of those payments payments fall under the program for independent contractors.

California was flooded with claims in the early days of the pandemic after Newsom imposed stay-at-home orders in mid-March that closed most businesses. The department managed to resolve most of a backlog that peaked last year at 1.6 million claims. But the pile has grown again and now stands at more than 800,000 people.

Newsom imposed a new stay-at-home order on much of the state in December after a surge in new coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Newsom extended those orders in many regions this month. But he lifted the order for the counties in and around the state capital.

Republican Assemblyman Jim Patterson, a frequent critic of Newsom’s handling of the state’s unemployment claims, said he his office has been inundated with calls from constituents in recent weeks seeking help obtaining unemployment benefits, an indication that many have again lost their jobs because of the lingering restrictions on businesses.

Patterson said he suspects the increase in claims is likely a mix of fraudulent and legitimate claims, noting state officials have not been able to tell the difference. Last month, the state froze an additional 1.4 million claims because of fraud suspicions, prompting an outcry from people who say their legitimate benefits were halted.

“Legitimate people are being denied and we can’t really get a handle by how much fraud is still out there,” he said. “The fraudsters are still attacking the system and getting paid and those who should be getting paid are finding it more and more difficult.”

The safeguards the department has put in place have made it much harder for people to file fraudulent claims, said El Dorado District Attorney Vern Pierson, president of the California District Attorneys Association and one of many prosecutors investigating fraudulent unemployment claims statewide.

Pierson said he believes the spike in claims is likely related to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases and accompanying business restrictions that have hurt the economy.

But no system is foolproof, he said.

“Criminals are still trying to defeat the system,” Pierson said. “It can be defeated.”

The state has not said how many fraudulent claims it has paid. State Auditor Elaine Howle is scheduled to release two audits of the department next week.

Powered by WPeMatico

‘A lot of us are going to have PTSD.’ Fatigue, burnout, exhaustion plague hospital staffs during COVID surge

When Ruth Godde hooks up her patients to a ventilator at Antelope Valley Hospital, sometimes they grab her arm and ask if they are going to make it.

“You can’t with assurance say ‘yes’ to them, but you don’t want them to be more stressed than they already are, so we say, ‘We’re doing this to save you,’ ” she said. “But you realize as you’re incubating them the chances are they might not make it. In several instances, they don’t.”

As the COVID case count surges across Southern California, medical workers report burnout, fatigue and exhaustion as they scramble to save their patients’ lives.

“It’s exhausting mentally,” Godde said, adding that during her 12-hour shifts she has only one opportunity to eat or drink. She often cries in her car on the way home.

Every minute 10 people test positive for coronavirus in Los Angeles County. Every six minutes someone dies from the virus, officials say. Some ambulances circle for hours until a bed is free at hospitals. And some mortuaries are so full, they refuse to take on more bodies.

Los Angeles County, in the meantime, has approached the grim milestone of 1 million coronavirus cases, with more than 13,930 fatalities.

Death takes heavy toll

That has taken a merciless toll on medical workers.

On some days, nurse Michele Younkin from St. Jude Medical Center’s COVID-19 unit in Fullerton sees multiple deaths, she said, and rarely makes it through a shift without crying or comforting other nurses.

“I hold every patient that I lost … I hold them in my heart,” she said, as her voice cracked. “I can picture every single one, and I will probably never forget them.

“It’s emotionally taxing on our floor,” she added, “because we have so many deaths.”


In this July 31, 2020, file photo, Romelia Navarro, 64, holds the hand of her dying husband, Antonio, as nurse Michele Younkin injects the patient with a solution in his final moments in a COVID-19 unit at St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

For Dr. Thomas Yadegar, a pulmonologist and medical director of the intensive care unit at Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center, it’s been a long 10 months since the pandemic began raging. When he walks into the hospital, he knows the first few minutes there will be “one emergency after another” until the end of his 20-hour shift.

“No matter how many hours I put in, no matter how hard I work, it just seems like at the end of the day, there are another 10, 15, 20 patients that need my attention,” he said, “and it’s heartbreaking because I know that I’m not able to give them everything that they deserve.”

Every single day, depending on the caseload, Yadegar typically cares for about 35 patients, but there are days when he is responsible for up to 80. He can’t remember the last time he slept more than three hours at a time. These days, Yadegar said, he sees more deaths in a day than he did in a month before the post-Thanksgiving surge.

Within mere weeks in early December, he said, the hospital was functioning smoothly with a small number of coronavirus patients, and then the COVID patient volume kept doubling, overwhelming the staff.

“I had to expand our ICU and, even with increased capacity, 90% of patients in our ICUs were COVID-19 patients,” Yadegar said. “Every single floor is now filled with COVID-19 patients and over 80% of our acute care are devoted to COVID-19 patients.” The hospital had to cancel any kind of elective and semi-elective surgeries so it could focus on treating patients infected with the virus.

Keeping families connected

At the nursing station at UC Irvine in Orange County, meanwhile, the phone is ringing nonstop as family members seek updates on the conditions of their loved ones, said Angela Mayfield, a registered nurse in a medical-surgical unit during a recent virtual protest hosted by California Nurses Association/National Nurses United.


Registered nurses Robin Gooding, left, and Johanna Ortiz treat a COVID-19 patient at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in the Mission Hills section of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

“Nurses have worked short-staffed for many months while the work at the bedside remains physically and emotionally exhausting. The patients’ conditions are declining and the pressure on the bedside nurse can be overwhelming,” she said.

Registered nurse Robin Gooding at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills said nurses are “working really hard” providing emotional support to patients who often are not allowed to see family members.

“It’s kind of puts a burden on the stuff because you have to become a family member to patients,” she said, adding that the staff often feels “responsible for making sure those patients are passing comfortably.”

Patients in the hallways

Another nurse from UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center said during the same protest her emergency department is so crowded that patients are moved to the hallway, putting both patients and staff at risk for exposure.

Nurses describe similar experiences at other hospitals, citing exhaustion and burnout amid dealing with the overload of patients, the shortage of gowns and broken equipment.

Valerie Ewald, a registered nurse at UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center, said she was offered “decontaminated masks,” that not only smelled bad but also had broken straps, making her wonder whether they offer sufficient protection.

In a statement, UCLA Health spokesman said that the hospital has “sufficient supplies of personal protective equipment and follows CDC guidelines regarding quality.”

“The safety and well-being of UCLA Health nurses, our other health care workers and our patients is our overriding priority at all times,” Enrique Rivero said. “We understand the anxiety created by the high volume of COVID-19 patients and associated workload, and we value our staff’s dedication to safe, high-quality, compassionate patient care.”

Higher nurse-patient ratios

It doesn’t help that the state recently allowed hospitals to adjust their nurse-to-patient ratios. New rules adopted during the pandemic allow hospitals to ask ICU nurses to care for three patients instead of two while emergency room and telemetry nurses might be required to take care of six instead of four patients.

Hospitals say they are so overloaded with high numbers of coronavirus patients, they simply don’t have enough medical personnel to respond to the crisis.

But asking nurses to take care of more patients will overwhelm already exhausted medical staff and weaken their ability to provide quality care, workers say.

“We are working to exhaustion, sweating and dehydrated from the long hours of wearing the personal protective equipment that we need to keep safe,” Mayfield said. “Our patients are struggling to breathe and stay alive.”

On a recent afternoon, Godde stopped another nurse at Antelope Valley Hospital, a mother of a newborn, who’s still breastfeeding, to remind her to go pump.

“She’s been leaking for a couple of hours and … you can tell she isn’t even aware of it because we’re all running around,” she said. “It breaks your heart.”

Quality care suffering

One Godde colleague at Antelope Valley, intensive care unit nurse Cindy Gillison, said she deals with “the sickest of the sick” on a daily basis. Medical staffing, meanwhile, is stretched so thin, she added, they can’t provide the quality care their patients need.

“These patients are dying alone,” she said, adding that there’s nowhere for the staff to put the bodies. Two refrigerated semi-trucks parked in the hospital’s parking lot are holding bodies. “There’s a tremendous amount of crying. It’s devastating.”


Before her 12-hour shift, nurse Cindy Gillison poses on Jan. 13 outside Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster, where she is caring for more patients since the state allowed hospitals to relax nurse-to-patient ratios amid the coronavirus pandemic. In the last few months, she has seen “a mass exodus” of nurses to bigger hospitals that offer bonuses and higher pay. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Once the pandemic is over, “a lot of us are going to have PTSD,” said the single mother of three. “It’s like a war zone. … We’re in the wrong place at the wrong time all the time.”

Lancaster Mayor Rex Parris said FEMA and Samaritan’s Purse, the faith-based disaster relief organization, have provided about 60 medical personnel to Antelope Valley Hospital to relieve the workload.

Still, like many other medical workers, Gillison braces herself for another surge following New Year’s Eve. “It’s scary to think what’s going to happen after four weeks, when the New Year’s surge comes,” she said.

The most frustrating part of the latest surge? It was preventable, medical workers say.

In the beginning of the pandemic, said Yadegar from Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center, health care workers sensed support from the general public, but in recent weeks that support has “dissipated.” That, he said, has been “truly demoralizing and has taken everything away from us.”

As he drives home after his 20-hour shift, he watches how people are “living their lives as if nothing is happening.”

“If the general public … could see the misery, the pain and the anguish that we deal with on a daily basis,” he said, “they would not want to go to the grocery store, let alone get together or go to parties or travel.”

Powered by WPeMatico

Adrian Kempe helps Kings rally past Avalanche for first win

  • Kings center Gabriel Vilardi falls next to Colorado Avalanche defenseman Ryan Graves during the third period of Thursday’s game at Staples Center. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Colorado Avalanche right wing Mikko Rantanen (96) scores against Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick (32) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Colorado Avalanche players celebrate after a goal by right wing Mikko Rantanen (96) against the Kings during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon shoots and scores during the first period of the team’s NHL hockey game against the Kings on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) defends against Kings center Anze Kopitar (11) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Colorado Avalanche left wing J.T. Compher, left, and Kings center Michael Amadio (10) fight during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Kings center Gabriel Vilardi (13) scores against Colorado Avalanche goaltender Hunter Miska (32) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • The puck shot by Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, not seen, flies past Colorado Avalanche goaltender Hunter Miska (32) for a goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • The Kings celebrate a goal by defenseman Drew Doughty (8) during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Colorado Avalanche goaltender Hunter Miska (32) dives to catch the puck during the second period of the team’s NHL hockey game against the Kings on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick (32) blocks a shot by Colorado Avalanche defenseman Ryan Graves, center, during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Los Angeles. Kings’ Olli Maatta (6) defends. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Kings center Trevor Moore (12) and center Blake Lizotte (46) defend against Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Colorado Avalanche goaltender Hunter Miska blocks a shot by Kings defenseman Drew Doughty (8) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Kings right wing Adrian Kempe, second from right, celebrates with center Anze Kopitar (11) after scoring a goal during the third period of the team’s NHL hockey game against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Kings players celebrate after right wing Adrian Kempe (9) scored a goal during the third period of the team’s NHL hockey game against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Los Angeles. Colorado Avalanche goaltender Hunter Miska is at left. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Kings right wing Dustin Brown (23) trips Colorado Avalanche left wing Brandon Saad (20) during the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Los Angeles. Brown was penalized for tripping. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick makes a save during the second period of the team’s NHL hockey game against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

of

Expand

The Kings earned their first victory of the season Thursday with a 4-2 triumph over the Colorado Avalanche at Staples Center.

The game saw them rebound from a 2-0 deficit and turn in a domineering effort in the second half of a meeting with the Stanley Cup favorite.

After three one-goal losses to start the season, including two in which the Kings were up by two going into the third period, Coach Todd McLellan was pleased that his team was able to pull one out.

“It wasn’t a Picasso but we don’t need perfection right now,” McLellan said. “It was a happy night at the end, but it was stressful throughout.”

Defenseman Drew Doughty and forward Gabe Vilardi both scored power-play goals for the Kings (1-1-2). Winger Adrian Kempe, who skated on the top line, scored the game-winner and center Blake Lizotte added an empty-net goal. Center Anze Kopitar contributed two assists. Jonathan Quick returned to his net and made 24 of 26 saves on his 35th birthday.

Center Nathan MacKinnon and right winger Mikko Rantanen scored for the Avalanche (2-2-0). Hunter Miska made his first career start in net and stopped 23 shots while allowing three goals.

Though the Kings began the game aggressively and drew a penalty, they gave up the game’s first goal soon after their power play. MacKinnon took the puck to the net for a backhand shot. That generated a rebound for Rantanen, who pushed the puck home for his third goal of the season and his second in as many games against the Kings.

The Kings have surrendered the first goal in each of their four games in 2021.

Just under seven minutes into the first period, Jeff Carter sent Andreas Athanasiou into the offensive zone with speed, where he left a drop pass for Lizotte. Lizotte’s shot was the second Kings attempt to hit the post in the first seven minutes Thursday.

The next goal also went to Colorado, when MacKinnon fired a laser to the far side for a power-play goal with 45 seconds left in the opening period. It was perhaps the only significant blemish on the Kings’ penalty killers, who along with Quick helped shift momentum in the Kings’ favor as the game continued.

The Kings got on the board during an extended five-on-three power play. Miska beat back some sustained pressure, but the Kings regrouped. Kopitar’s pass from the goal line to the high slot found Doughty with a clear shooting angle. Doughty’s blast – his first goal of the season – halved the Avs’ lead.

“Having extended five-on-three time is big, and nowadays you’ve got to score or else you’re behind,” Kopitar said.

Kopitar played in career game No. 1,077, all of them with the Kings. That mark tied him with team president and former left wing Luc Robitaille for the third-most in team history. They trail only Dave Taylor (1,111), who drafted Kopitar as the Kings’ general manager, and Kopitar’s teammate Dustin Brown.

“We’ve played together for the better part of 15 years and he’s like a brother to me,” Kopitar said of Brown. “To be able to have him alongside is very special to me, and hopefully we can keep this thing rolling.”

The second power-play unit also converted for the Kings, knotting the score at two. A decisive pass to Vilardi at the right-wing wall allowed him to skate into the faceoff circle and let fly with a rising wrist shot from a sharp angle that banked off Miska’s mask and into the net.

The Kings trailed in shots on goal 17-7 but were tied at 23 midway through the third period as they carried the play later in the game.

“We just kept going. We just kept playing. We got down early and then we just kept battling. We had lots of penalties but other than that we played good five-on-five and the (power play) came up big,” Vilardi said.

The Kings took a lead in shots and goals simultaneously with a hair under four minutes remaining.

Kopitar received the puck down low and spun away from the net to sweep the puck to Kempe for a redirection that gave the Kings their first lead. It was Kempe’s second goal in his last two games, and if not for two scoring changes he might have ended up with a goal in each of his first four outings.

Kopitar said he knew Kempe was in front and tried to fool the defense by turning away from the net. He backhanded the puck to Kempe, who had boxed out his defender in a way that would have made Dennis Rodman proud.

Colorado pulled its goalie with more than two minutes to play and applied pressure six-on-five. Left wing Gabriel Landeskog dinged the post from point-blank range in Colorado’s best chance late in the game.

Doughty and Mikey Anderson, a pairing the Kings might deploy more frequently, were caught on the ice for a shift of more than two minutes as time wound down. But the Kings were no worse for wear as they forced a turnover and Lizotte lofted the puck into the open net to secure the 4-2 victory.

Read more about Adrian Kempe helps Kings rally past Avalanche for first win This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

Coronavirus: California passed 3 million cases, 34,000 deaths on Jan. 19

California’s case count has hit the 3 million milestone.

According to data gleaned from local public health departments across the state, there were 57,307 new cases and 700 new deaths reported from Tuesday, Jan. 19.

And, of the 3.2 million vaccinations distributed throughout the state, 1.39 million have been administered, tracking showed.

 

California regions and ICU capacity for Jan. 19

As ICU capacity dwindles in Southern California the percentages in this graphic have been adjusted by state public health officials to represent the high levels of COVID-19 patients among all ICU patients. More actual beds may be available.

Vaccines administered as of Jan. 17

The California Department of Public Health site shows a total of 3,226,775 vaccine doses, which includes the first and second dose, have been shipped to local health departments and health care systems as of Jan. 17.

The totals of vaccines administered across six different regions are in the maps below. As of Jan. 17, a total of 1,393,224 vaccine doses have been administered statewide.That’s up 609,748 from the Jan. 11 report. The state cautions that the numbers do not represent true day-to-day change as reporting may be delayed.

Read more about Coronavirus: California passed 3 million cases, 34,000 deaths on Jan. 19 This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

Indian village cheers for Kamal Harris before swearing-in as US Vice President

By RISHI LEKHI and AIJAZ RAHI | The Associated Press

THULASENDRAPURAM, India — People in a tiny Indian village surrounded by rice paddies flocked to a Hindu temple, burst crackers and uttered prayers Wednesday hours before its descendant, Kamala Harris, takes her oath of office to become the U.S. vice president.

Groups of women in bright saris and men wearing white dhotis thronged the temple with sweets and flowers, offering special prayers for Harris’ success.

“We are feeling very proud that an Indian is being elected as the vice president of America,” said Anukampa Madhavasimhan, a teacher.

The ceremony in Thulasendrapuram, where Harris’ maternal grandfather was born about 350 kilometers (215 miles) from the southern coastal city of Chennai, saw the idol of Hindu deity Ayyanar, a form of Lord Shiva, washed with milk and decked with flowers by the priest. Shortly after, the village reverberated with a boom of firecrackers as people held up posters of Harris and clapped their hands.

Harris is set to make history as the first woman, first Black woman and first person of South Asian descent to hold the vice presidency. What makes her achievement special in this village is her Indian heritage.

Harris’ grandfather was born in Thulasendrapuram more than 100 years ago. Many decades later, he moved to Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu state. Harris’ late mother was also born in India, before moving to the U.S. to study at the University of California. She married a Jamaican man, and they named their daughter Kamala, a Sanskrit word for “lotus flower.”

In several speeches, Harris has often spoken about her roots and how she was guided by the values of her Indian-born grandfather and mother.

So when Joe Biden and Harris triumphed in the U.S. election last November, Thulasendrapuram became the center of attention in entire India. Local politicians flocked to the village and young children carrying placards with photos of Harris ran along the dusty roads.

Then and now, villagers set off firecrackers and distributed sweets and flowers as a religious offering.

Posters and banners of Harris from November still adorn walls in the village and many hope she ascends to the presidency in 2024. Biden has skirted questions about whether he will seek reelection or retire.

“For the next four years, if she supports India, she will be the president,” said G Manikandan, who has followed Harris politically and whose shop proudly displays a wall calendar with pictures of Biden and Harris.

On Tuesday, an organization that promotes vegetarianism sent food packets for the village children as gifts to celebrate Harris’ success.

In the capital New Delhi, there has been both excitement — and some concern — over Harris’ ascend to the vice presidency.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had invested in President Donald Trump, who visited India in February last year. Modi’s many Hindu nationalist supporters also were upset with Harris when she expressed concern about Kashmir, the disputed Muslim-majority region whose statehood India’s government revoked last year.

Powered by WPeMatico

Laguna Hills swimmer Tona Zinn commits to Northwestern

Laguna Hills High swimmer Tona Zinn, who became a CIF Southern Section individual champion as a freshman, committed to Northwestern on Tuesday, Jan. 19.

The junior from the SOCAL club announced his commitment on Instagram, thanking his friends, family and coaches for their support.

As a freshman in 2019, Zinn captured the 200-yard individual medley at the Division 1 final in 1 minute, 48.61 seconds. He also placed third in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 55.79.

Zinn went on to race at the CIF State meet in Clovis, finishing fifth in the 200 IM and ninth in the breaststroke.

Last spring, Orange County’s high school swimmers didn’t get much of a chance to make a splash as the pandemic ended their season in mid-March.

In a club meet in Arizona last month, Zinn clocked a swift 1:47.61 in the 200 IM. Corey Okubo holds the county record with a 1:45.42 for University in 2014.

Please send swimming news to Dan Albano at dalbano@scng.com or @ocvarsityguy on Twitter or Instagram

Read more about Laguna Hills swimmer Tona Zinn commits to Northwestern This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

Man arrested on suspicion of DUI after Huntington Beach crash kills 2

A Sunset Beach man was arrested on suspicion of DUI after a multi-vehicle traffic crash in Huntington Beach left two people dead on Tuesday evening, Jan. 19.

35-year-old Eric Kinser was transported to UCI Medical Center for treatment and arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, the Huntington Beach Police Department said in a statement.

At 6:45 p.m., police responded to reports of a multi-vehicle collision in the area of Pacific Coast Highway and Warner Avenue. Three vehicles with extensive damage were found in the southbound lanes of PCH.

After a preliminary investigation, it was determined that Kinser drove a white 2007 Dodge Ram pickup truck north on PCH and crossed over the center median into southbound lanes of traffic, police said. He collided head-on with a silver 1999 Toyota Solara, driven by a 19-year-old man from Newport Beach; and a white 2012 Lexus RX350, driven by a 71-year old woman from Huntington Beach, the Police Department said.

The driver of the Lexus was pronounced deceased at the scene and the driver of the Toyota was transported to UCI Medical Center, where he later succumbed to his injuries, police said. A 45-year old female passenger in the Lexus was transported to OC Global Medical Center with moderate injuries.

Anyone with information about the crash was asked to contact Huntington Beach Police Traffic Investigator D. Demetre at 714-536-5670.

Read more about Man arrested on suspicion of DUI after Huntington Beach crash kills 2 This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

Laguna Hills High, SOCAL swimmer Tona Zinn commits to Northwestern

Laguna Hills High swimmer Tona Zinn, who became a CIF Southern Section individual champion as a freshman, committed to Northwestern on Tuesday, Jan. 19.

The junior from the SOCAL club announced his commitment on Instagram, thanking his friends, family and coaches for their support.

As a freshman in 2019, Zinn captured the 200-yard individual medley at the Division 1 final in 1 minute, 48.61 seconds. He also placed third in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 55.79.

Zinn went on to race at the CIF State meet in Clovis, finishing fifth in the 200 IM and ninth in the breaststroke.

Last spring, Orange County’s high school swimmers didn’t get much of a chance to make a splash as the pandemic ended their season in mid-March.

In a club meet in Arizona last month, Zinn clocked a swift 1:47.61 in the 200 IM. Corey Okubo holds the county record with a 1:45.42 for University in 2014.

Please send swimming news to Dan Albano at dalbano@scng.com or @ocvarsityguy on Twitter or Instagram

Read more about Laguna Hills High, SOCAL swimmer Tona Zinn commits to Northwestern This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

Joe Biden’s COVID team is nervous about what the Trump team hasn’t told them

By Sara Murray, MJ Lee and Kristen Holmes | CNN

With the hours dwindling until Joe Biden is sworn in — officially taking the helm of the US government during its worst health crisis in 100 years — a sense of nervousness has set in among those advising the incoming President on the pandemic.

The overarching, nagging concern: “They don’t know what they don’t know,” said a source close to the Biden Covid-19 team.

Biden is set to inherit a nation grieving hundreds of thousands of Americans who have perished from the virus, a health care system buckling under the strain of the pandemic, new variants of the disease popping up around the world and a public that is both stressed about the prospect of when they can get vaccinated, as well as dubious about whether to trust the vaccine when it’s their turn in line.

Multiple officials familiar with the transition said the lack of full cooperation and transparency from the outgoing Trump administration has contributed to Biden’s Covid team feeling frustrated and concerned about having a full understanding of the scope of the problems they will confront on Day One.

But the President-elect’s team feels ready for the fight.

[vemba-video id=”politics/2021/01/19/joe-biden-on-covid-19-mh-orig.cnn”]

“We’re not going to hide from the fact that is going to be a tremendous effort that is going to require the hard work of millions of Americans,” said Rep. Bill Foster, an Illinois Democrat on the House coronavirus subcommittee who has participated in briefings with Biden’s transition team and was describing their posture coming into office. “It’s not going to be some magical solution.”

The President-elect understands just how much the success of his presidency will depend on his ability to get the virus under control, the source close to Biden’s Covid operation said. The President-elect is anxious and focused on the pandemic right now, which looms large over Wednesday’s inauguration.

Chief among the Biden team’s concerns right now is vaccine supply and turning around the lackluster distribution effort, though new strains of the virus are another persistent worry for the incoming team.

One source familiar with the Biden effort acknowledged a major gap the incoming team will have to confront is that there is currently no effective and trustworthy line of communication between states and the federal government.

Ramping up federal involvement in coronavirus testing and vaccine distribution starts with building up communications with each state to better understand their infrastructure and supply challenges, something that’s expected to be a focus in the early days of Biden’s presidency.

States are clamoring for the federal government to release larger batches of vaccine. But it’s still not clear if there will be enough vaccine available to drastically speed up the pace at which they can be distributed and administered.

While there is optimism that additional vaccines will be soon approved for use in the United States, including the potential of a single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, there are questions about whether it can be produced fast enough to significantly address any potential supply problems.

Foster, the Illinois congressman, said getting information from the Trump administration on delivery schedules and production progress for vaccines “has been like pulling teeth.”

“And I understand the frustration of the Biden (team), if they were seeing the same sort of resistance we saw, on not what was contracted and promised but what the actual milestones in the vaccine production are along the way,” he added.

Outgoing health officials in the Trump administration, meanwhile, insist they have been cooperative with the Biden team and have had hundreds of meetings with Biden’s transition team.

Still, the Biden team likely won’t get a full scope of the vaccine production landscape until he takes office Wednesday.

The President-elect’s team has expressed concerns about trying to get a grasp on exactly how the vaccine distribution is playing out — and what’s slowing it down — across all 50 states.

Even though Biden’s team is fully aware they can’t federalize the vaccine distribution process with the snap of a finger, the President-elect has vowed that the federal government will play a much more aggressive role in streamlining the vaccine distribution and Covid containment efforts.

But even when it comes to some signature promises — like deploying the National Guard to run vaccination sites — it will most likely fall to each state to determine what works best for them.

New variants of the coronavirus could prove to be another vexing problem for the incoming administration.

The worst-case scenario for Biden’s team would a variant that cannot be treated by currently approved vaccines. But America’s inferior screening systems for monitoring new strains of the virus, combined with the fraught relationship with the outgoing Trump administration, adds emerging variants to the thorny list of problems a Biden administration won’t be able to fully tackle until he takes office.

Containing any new variant of the disease played into the Biden team’s decision to immediately throw cold water on President Donald Trump’s order lifting some travel restrictions on incoming travelers from much of Europe, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Brazil. While the outgoing President ordered those restrictions to be lifted on January 26 — nearly a week after Biden takes office — Biden’s team said the President-elect would block the order once he’s in office.

“With the pandemic worsening, and more contagious variants emerging around the world, this is not the time to be lifting restrictions on international travel,” incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted Monday. “In fact, we plan to strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Powered by WPeMatico