Kings rookie Nolan got to LA through hard work

Keith Yandle #3 of the Phoenix Coyotes moves Keith Yandle #3 of the Phoenix Coyotes moves the puck ahead of Jordan Nolan #71 of the Los Angeles Kings in the first period. (May 22, 2012) Photo Credit: Getty Images

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NEWARK -- Kings rookie Jordan Nolan will have a familiar voice cheering him on at Staples Center this week: His dad, Ted, who coached the Islanders from 2006 to 2008.

"My mom and brother [Brandon] have been here, and he'll be there for Games 3 and 4," Nolan said. "He's been back from Latvia for a while."

Ted Nolan is coach of the Latvian national team, which finished 10th in the World Championships last month, beating Italy and Germany but losing five games.

Jordan, a 22-year-old 6-3 center, finally got his shot in the NHL when he was called up from the Manchester Monarchs on Feb. 11 with equally sizable roommate Dwight King. "I was sleeping in and King came back and woke me up," Nolan recalled. "He said, 'We're going up, leaving in 20 minutes.' "

Nolan was ready in 10.

It was a long path to the pros. The Kings selected Nolan in the seventh round of the 2009 draft after he was passed over in 2007 and 2008.

"My dad taught me to just work hard, that's how he coaches players, and that's what got me here," said Jordan, who recorded his first playoff assist on Curt Fraser's goal in Game 1. "That's what you have to do to be successful."

 

Tallinder available

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Veteran defenseman Henrik Tallinder, who has not played since Jan. 17 because of a blood clot in his left leg, is available and could play later in the Finals, Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. "He's kept himself in great shape. He looks good in practice. Before he went out, he was a top-two defenseman."

DeBoer added that Tallinder, 33, would travel to Los Angeles.

Ice chips

The last time a road team split the first two games and won the Cup was in 1986, when the Montreal Canadiens did it . . . Home teams that split the first two games are 16-7 . . . Wayne Gretzky, the captain of the 1993 Kings -- the franchise's first and last squad to reach the Cup Finals -- will drop the ceremonial first puck for Game 3.

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