In terms of hyping the first Kings-Sharks game of the season, don’t expect much from Terry Murray. This is a coach, after all, who claims not to pay attention to where the Kings are in the standings. But in case he ends up reading this at some point, the Kings enter the game in first place in the West, six points ahead of the perennially strong Sharks. Of course, each team has only played 15 games, so the sample size is modest at best, but it’s not a ridiculous stretch to think that these two teams could be fighting for the Pacific Division title late in the season.

MURRAY: “I never look at a game as a measuring stick for a hockey club. It’s a big hockey game. It’s a division rival, and we’re going to have to come out and play a complete game against probably the most talented team in the National Hockey League. They’re big, they’re strong. Their big players are their skill players, and we’re just going to have to be ready to play a real solid game.”

The Sharks enter the game with a 3-0-1 record in their last four games after a 5-5-1 start, but Sharks coach Todd McLellan didn’t really take the bait either when asked about this being a big game for his team.

MCLELLAN: “Absolutely, but leaving L.A. out of it, every night is a test for us. Teams are starting to play a little different in the league. You see different types of neutral-zone forechecks. Often, lately, the biggest test has been ourselves. Never mind the opponent. Can we put together a 60-minute effort? Does it fall off at 55? At 50? Do we have everybody playing the right way? I believe that will be the first test we take tonight. After that, the Kings pose a lot of problems, not just for the Sharks but for a lot of teams around the league. They’re a very good team.”

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Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

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Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

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

Bio

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.

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Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

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

Bio

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.

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Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
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Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

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

Bio

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.

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Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

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

Bio

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.

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