The Kings are on quite a defensive/goaltending roll. They have allowed three or fewer goals in 15 consecutive games and, perhaps more impressively, they have allowed two or fewer goals in seven of their last eight games and in 11 of their last 13 games. In fact, the last team to score more than three goals against the Kings was — drumroll please — Columbus, in a 6-4 Kings win at Staples Center on Jan. 8. The Kings now rank fourth in the NHL and second in the Western Conference in goals-against average, at 2.34 per game.

MURRAY: “I think that just reinforces the checking part of the game. I think that’s what is so critical for us. Even going through the difficult time that we had at home, without being able to find a way to win games, the focus went back to playing without the puck, doing the right stuff on the checking part of it, tightening things up. We made a couple changes on play through the neutral zone, on the forecheck, the neutral-zone forecheck. That allows us to recover some pucks a little bit easier, when they are dumped in, and it allows you to create some turnovers in the middle of the ice and just get a transition going. That’s a group effort. That’s goaltending and out. Everybody is doing a great job, and it’s a reflection of the kind of work ethic that the team is bringing right now.”

On the other side of it is the offense, which has been less consistent. During this road swing, the Kings scored four regulation goals against Washington and three against Edmonton and Calgary, but also were shut out in Minnesota and scored only one goal against Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Murray was asked whether he was satisfied with the offensive chances his team has been generating…

MURRAY: “I think we’ve been getting some pretty good looks. Even going back to the Pittsburgh game, we had our looks. We just didn’t finish on it. In the Flyer game, a 1-0 game, Simmer has a breakaway, Stolly has a great look off that weak side. Ponikarovsky has a power move to the front of the net, and I don’t know how he [Sergei Bobrovsky] made the stop on it, actually. It was a great save. So we’re getting our looks against tight-checking teams. Even Washington. They’ve really clamped things down right now with their style of play, changed their system to a 1-2-2 look. They’re trying to get things organized to let themselves have a strong playoff run, on the checking part of the game. So I’m OK with the looks, but we do have to finish. That’s the key.”

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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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